the eve of eve

can you seriously believe it is almost here? i could be the worlds worst procrastinator at christmas. i have all of these great ideas on what i want to make everyone, etc...my thoughts are usually way bigger than my time and resources....and here i am rushing to get it all done. i think my problem is that I feel if i keep putting it off the christmas season will last longer....i love the joys of it all - the lights, the tree, the food, the ambiance and i want it too last forever....at least more than 3 1/2 weeks. but, here it is - faster than last year and it's going to be a late night!

we did get a gingerbread house made and decorated which is more than i can say for last year. and i made the boys their x-mas pj's instead of buying them - the crazy thing is - i think they are way cuter than any i've ever bought...i'm finishing the pants and then i'll take a pic and post - you can let me know what you think!

the beginning

the icing the decorating

finishing touches

i made 2 batches of cookies on sat / sun. and have 2 more to do tonight / tomorrow. i have the other food bought - ready to be put together tomorrow for christmas day - can't wait!! okay - so i'm still debating on the whole christmas card delimna. i usually love the process of sending them and this year it just never fit in with my schedule...probably because i couldn't get both kids to pose (together) at the x-mas tree farm and haven't had them looking good enough since to snap a decent shot....maybe new year's cards? as i've been getting them from friends i am remembering how great it is too see how the kids have changed each year and laugh at how much they look like mom / dad! so i think i'll have to find a way to get them out.

Tyler's are the ones on top / Austin's are on bottom

okay - just finished making choc. chip cookies to bake tomorrow and will do sugar cookies tomorrow and other stuff. i'm uploading the pics of gingerbread and pj's then back to the studio to work on gifts! happy happy day before the day before!


Snow Day

yesterday we had our first snow day at school....should i be worried that i was sort of upset and bummed as the teacher versus jumping up and down for a unexpected day off?? it was our last day to finish our mom gifts before the class x-mas party on friday. plus we were having evan's b-day party (which is always fun to have sugary treats at snack time!) i think i'm just one of the kids. so - i'm hoping this inch of ice covering all of our side roads is gone by tomorrow - i'll be so sad if we miss the last day - i had so many fun things planned! Our schools did a 2 hour delay again today so we will see. it is pretty gross out there!

we are making reindeer dust and reindeer cookies in class tomorrow (cross your fingers!) out of nutter butter cookies / m&m's / pretzels and chocolate chips - they should be fun and the kids absolutely love doing anything with food!

my friend came over yesterday to set me up knitting some wrist / hand warmers. I got the best yarn from another friend's stash and i'm very exciting to whip these things up (we'll see how fast the whipping part goes!) the thumb will definately be tricky and i'll need some major guidance...it's been quite a few years since i've picked up the knitting needles.

i'm trying to make an effort to get back to the gym today....hard in this dreadful weather. we are having an all-out baking day on saturday with my sister-in-law and the kids....cookies galore!


time with this

i'm going to be spending lots of time with this today:

i have been sewing cloth diapers for a fellow co-op mom / friend. you can view them here - i had no idea they had come so far. If i was just starting out with my kids I would totally invest....but my luck tyler would potty-train himself within 3 months of buying them --- maybe that isn't a bad thing! It has been really fun making them and i'm happy to be using my machine again.

my big guy likes to spend lots of time with these:

we are going to write a letter to santa and mail today -maybe i can finally get him to pick a 'few' things he really wants for christmas. if i get ambitious we will put together the gingerbread house!
i have a few gifts to finish making before x-mas. school is out this friday so i still have a few free days next week. we are supposed to get a few inches of snow today so i'm trying to get motivated to run my errands this am.


etsy is updated!

i spent a few hours yesterday updating my etsy store! so check it out. i realized after i took all the pictures that i should have shrunk the files - so i had to re-take some of them to fit. but i have added a few things and plan on adding some more tomorrow if i get a chance!

I also wanted to show you the thanksgiving craft we did at school ( a bit late i know!). also - notice our head-wear!

and here is the funniest picture of my little guy at my parents house over the holiday!

wish you were having one of these is this frigid weather? we went from 46 degrees when i got in the car this am to 16 degrees tonight...brrrr.....wouldn't a hot tub feel nice right now?



i finally downloaded some pictures off of the camera...we saw santa yesterday when we picked out our x-mas tree at dulls tree farm. all of the fir trees were picked over in the field - so we ended up picking out a frasier fir that was pre-cut. the wind was really bad making it feel so cold! after we picked out our tree we had some hot chocolate and played tic-tac-toe in the cabin and Austin saw santa - tyler wouldn't have anything to do with him this year! so much for a great christmas card picture!

I think they were exhausted after the christmas tree hunt and cold weather - at least it was a quiet drive home!

it's amazing how peaceful they look when they're asleep! especially when i know how hyper they'd been all day and week....i'm going to update etsy right now - i'll post when it's done!


Season of giving

We love Robeez shoes at our house for the little feet running around. I just received an email from them for their season of giving charity. For every Robeez e-card you send they donate $5.00 to Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and the card is free to send! If you are out of time to send cards in the mail - try these via email and help a great charity! Click here for the link to the cards!

Promotions Galore!

Stampin up has announced their retiring stamp list for 2008 and is running a free shipping promotion for order over $70! What a deal - if you order by December 16th you should get delivery by Christmas. Anyone need a last minute gift for themself! Click here to see the retired list.

I cannot believe christmas is only 13 days away. I thought this year without running alm this time of year it would go so slow and i'd have so much time to get everything done.....wrong! I can say our house has been way more peaceful and joyous then years past. I enjoy every minute of cooking dinner and enjoying my afternoons and evenings with nothing to stress about. It is amazing what a schedule or routine can do for everyone! The baby naps everyday around the same time for 2-3 hours. I cherish that time and wonder how i did without it before!

Preschool has been keeping me very busy right now - probably the biggest excuse for time flying this month. We have been doing a ton of fun crafts in class - we decorated gingerbread houses today and the kids LOVED it - it was very cool to see what they created and the different designs. We are finishing our ornaments for mom's next monday / wednesday and having a fun class x-mas party on friday, our last day this year. I am excited to have a couple weeks off and finish my holiday gifts next week.

we haven't even started shopping for the boys - a bit lost at what to get them this year. I have gotten a couple shirts for austin and new pacifiers for tyler {the sad thing is he will love them!}. but no toys or fun stuff yet....planning that for next week.

i'm still without a computer during the day - and while i haven't completely adjusted to it - i am getting a lot more done around the house and in the craft room. it is awkward though when i go to look a recipe or something up quickly and the computer isn't there. what did we ever do before the internet??!!

we have a christmas party at school tomorrow and then off to the tree farm to cut down our tree. It seems like we are getting one really late this year. i'm contemplating getting a small, artificial tree when they go on sale to put in our loft or play room to put up after thanksgiving for the kids.

i hope to take lots of pictures tomorrow and actually have time to download / upload them. I'm also planning to update my etsy store this weekend. Happy holidays!


so sick

i have such good intentions of posting pictures and blogging since thanksgiving....not having a computer at home all day is putting a cramp in my style....although it's amazing how much 'other' stuff i get done when i'm not tempted to email and surf all day! i'm up early preparing for class - and thought i'd sneak a quick post. everyone at our house has been sick for about a month now. when i thought everyone was healthy, tyler got a bad cold and then eye infection. austin followed with his own cold and then very first ear infection and doug had a touch of the flu for a day. i *think* everyone is on the mend and feeling better finally. Austin missed school monday and wednesday - so is excited to go back today and i'm excited for the week to be over!

The extra cold weather is giving the boys major cabin fever and i'm just cold! i was out of coffee for about 4 days and had to breakdown and go buy a cup at mama bears yesterday at 4:30 ish (nuts, huh) and then to the store to actually buy a pound. With everyone sick I just couldn't make it out to get any....i'm pretty sure i won't run out again this winter - i'm stocking up! i'm also eating vitamin c gummies like nuts and washing my hands like i have ocd. germs stay away from me - i do not want any more illness...i cleaned the house yesterday and lysol'd it down!

I have some great pics on my camera....i will try to post them this weekend if possible. i'm also trying to add some new things to the etsy shop...i'll let you know - crazy - only 20 days until christmas! i have to get some things done and fast!!!


Holiday Extravanganze Sale at SU!

OMG!!! I had to do a quick post before our thanksgiving feast at school today and marathon packing to be ready to head to grandmas house for the weekend afterwards.

Stampin Up! is offering an amazing holiday deal on some great bundles if you order between today and Dec. 1st. Each bundle is between 30 - 50% off which is something they have never done before!!! This is an amazing deal for first time scrapbookers, cardmakers or just anyone wanting to replenish their embellies or add some new stamps to your stash. Click here to see the flyer and if you don't have a catalog - go to http://www.stampinup.com/ or click on my link to the bottom left. I can't decide which is the best deal!

Email me sekorinek@gmail.com if you would like something and I can call you for your cc number and the order will ship directly to you! These are great gift ideas as well.....totally fabulous!

I promise pictures of the turkey centerpiece and thanksgiving feast later today!


don't jinx it!

a miracle has happened at our house, but i am tempted to not even talk about it - in fear of jinxing it! Austin has never been fond of sleeping by himself...so we have had to lay down with him, let him fall asleep and sneak out of the room....the bigger problem is usually doug or i fall asleep before he does and then before we know it it is the middle of the night or morning. Doug finally decided enough was enough and designed the 'magical box'. we took a large box, taped it up, cut a hole in the top and covered it with brown packing paper. We let austin draw on it with markers, glitter glue, etc. Then we filled it with goodies. The deal was: sleep in your own bed all night and in the morning the magical box will be filled with surprises, if you don't sleep in your bed it will be empty. Last night was night 3 of the magic box and it is working!!!! Nothing short of a miracle and good old bribe. But, it is so worth it!

Now i'm just trying to make sure no one gets sick before thanksgiving. we have a thanksgiving feast at school on wednesday - so tomorrow in class we will be baking muffins and making pies and turkey hats and finishing our turkey centerpiece for wed. It should be a fun day and the feast is always lots of fun with the kids before break.

Another small miracle happened yesterday when i finally discovered why my sewing machine was skipping stitches when I was sewing this stretchy jersey wicking fabric that was also rather thin. After finally breaking down and taking my machine and what little pride i had left to quilt quarters and spending another 40 minutes troubleshooting in the store with different needles....the amazing lady finally tried a single needle throat plate (who would guess that?!) and it was fixed. this has been driving me nuts for over 2 weeks and i was beginning to think that my barely used, very nice machine was a dud! back to loving my machine and hopefully done ripping out skipped stitches for a long time!

I did a holiday vendor open house yesterday for stampin up with 9 other vendors. It was fun meeting new people as always and i was able to get a new really great lasagna soup mix and this warm artichoke dip from the tastefully simple rep and learned about a new product or company called scentsy. This product was very cool and different....similar to the old candle (wax) melters where you put the tea light in the bottom to melt the wax?! this one though is heated by a light bulb and they have ones for the bathroom to plug in. the great thing was they were actually cool looking with a ton of selections on scents. I got this one for the bathroom in black weave.

I did make several page kits for the show and didn't sell out of all of them and had some discontinued stamp sets for sale. I'm planning to post the ones that didn't sell in my etsy shop today or tomorrow - so check it out!


what a week

if you have been wondering what happened to me this past week - i'm here to tell you! you know the domino effect when everything is either good or bad and all at the same time?! We first had colds at our house, then the stomach flu, then my dad was here for surgery (which i couldn't be at because of the stomach flu) and when i thought we were all better .... Tyler got a bad cough and started wheezing. I had to take him to the dr. last thursday and found out he was having bronchial spasms and had to be put on breathing treatments 4 times a day. Most of you may have experience with this or not think too much of it...but Austin has NEVER been on an antibiotic and only had 1 dr. visit outside of his wellness checks and that was fingernail related! We have been SO VERY lucky with him that Tyler's issue is something new for us! Then, to top it all off my computer crashed, probably for it's last time....and of course I hadn't backed up everything i needed for 08 taxes and had 2 folders of pictures i hadn't burned or uploaded to shutterfly yet.....of course!

but, good news is - dad is out of the hospital, on his way home today and doing fairly well considering the surgery. Tyler is slowly adjusting to his treatments and seems to be doing better. I'm in my 3rd week at school and things are going really well.

We had a class coffee last night so the parents and teacher could be on the same page and I feel really good about it. I wanted to make sure everyone knew how excited I am to be experiencing this chapter in my life...how I am meant to learn from these children and them from me. How being part of a co-op is hard work, but the best gift you can give your children and yourself. How you have the power to change things and make them the best they can be.

now lets talk about thanksgiving!!! can anyone believe it is just 9 days away and christmas is close behind? wow! but i'm so thrilled to be part of it this year with my family, not to be rushing to the post office 5 minutes before close every day. I am doing cookie exchanges, christmas parties, handmade gifts, loving every minute of christmas traffic, soaking up the twinkling lights and watching it happen through my kids eyes. I am going to love EVERY minute of it!

I would close with some pictures, but ... they are on my not so trusty laptop. Maybe tomorrow if i can get some taken! We are making the cutest centerpiece in class this week for our 3rd annual thanksgiving feast and I will most definately have pictures of it to share.


Does this mean it's winter?

Everyone, but Doug is sick at our house...we are all grumbling about the weather change and already discouraged about sick season. I'm making appointments for flu shots today and looking for a good multi-vitamin for everyone! I think the worse thing is when your kids are sick and so are you. No one wants to take care of anyone! Tyler has had this mild, random vomiting since sat. night and was still cranky and lethargic all day yesterday. I got a milder version all day yesterday and Austin is in and out of it too. I hate wasting 3 days to being sick, now i'm feeling behind on my school lessons and lacking energy at that. So, I am up extra early cutting out some sheriff / firechief badges for the kids to decorate today. Oh, and I still have the cold /cough i had all last week.

i'm off to get ready for school, my other computer is acting up as well...but i'm going to try to have some fun pictures soon!


Saturday Fun Day

I was a lucky mom today ... got invited to a scrapping birthday party complete with Taylor Bakery cake and all! What more could I ask for on a dreary, cold Saturday? I was able to get almost 12 Christmas cards done for my mom's stash and used the new x-mas paper I got from stampin up. I will take some pics tomorrow. I wasn't sure how the paper would be in person, but it was so amazing i may order an extra pack for my x-mas pictures this year.

I have been thinking about putting together some monthly scrap kits that would be extremely reasonably priced and have a mish-mash variety of fun embellies to play with as well as designer paper and matching cardstock. this is something that has been in my mind for a few years actually and i just now have the time to do it. I am doing a holiday open house with a pampered chef friend and wanted to have them available for that. please leave me a comment if you think this sounds like a good idea and i am hoping to have the first one together in a couple weeks! I will probably post them in the etsy store as well. I am anticipating doing just a few in the beginning to see how it takes off. I thought it would be a great way to 'taste test' a lot of product without having to buy the entire bag or set. i mean really - who needs 300 felt flowers in just 3 colors : ) I also love all the paper, but rarely use the entire pack...anyway - i will try it and see how it goes! Happy scrapping ...



Well, I survived my first week as a preschool teacher. I knew I would and it is funny how the things you are worried about aren't a problem and the things you thought would be a breeze create the chaos! I thought I wouldn't have enough to fill the time and it turns out I don't have enough time to get through everything i want! Transitions are a little more chaotic right now than I imagined, but all in all I love it and think it went really well. I am expecting even more adjustment after next week. The kids are great and it is exciting to get to know each of their personalities a little better.

We ended up having quite the busy week with the election excitement on Tuesday and then Thursday we had a field trip at school which is usually our day off. Amazon Jon came to school and brought his jungle animals. The kids of course loved it and he tried to add in some adult humor as well. The presentation really was good and very kid friendly. I'll attach some pictures of Austin and his wild animals. I had the kids journal about the experience today and it was neat to hear there recaps.

We are headed to a cookout tonight and I'm headed to a friends birthday party tomorrow (yippee!) have a good weekend!


History has been made!

how many of you stayed up watching until the very end last night? I finally had to go to bed at 11:30 - although I couldn't stand it! So excited that our state, Indiana, was one of the last to be called. Four years ago when i voted and stood in line for about 2.5 hours I came home and they had already called our state....I was so discouraged! I couldn't believe it when I woke up and checked this morning that it was so close here and Indiana itself had a little bit of change! wow.
I am going to post lots of halloween pics from the weekend! Class #2 today...i'm hoping for a little less drama : ) if there is such a thing with 14 four / five year olds!

Batman and his sidekick 'rumble bumble'

this one is blurry, but it really shows his excitement at hitting the next house!


welcome november

quick post - more pictures of halloween later!

*got some home projects continued / finished / started this weekend - yippee!!

* start teaching twigs today - yippee!! (they are voting for their favorite colors, foods and animals - in honor of tomorrow!)

*got TONS of candy from halloween - yippee!!


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! We have had a busy day so far...I participated in Austin's class ( my last day as parent instead of teacher!) I start on Monday officially and I am very excited. I still need to get my actual crafts planned out, but I'm feeling pretty confident!

It turned out to be such a nice day today that we are sneaking out to the boat to go for a quick sail this afternoon before getting ready for trick-or-treating! I was torn between riding my bike and sailing, but the entire family will enjoy sailing more! I am hopeful the weather will be nice through the weekend and i can sneak in some riding! I am so glad it isn't going to be freezing for trick-or-treating tonight! I am such a kid and can't wait to dig through the buckets at the end ... Halloween is definately one of my more favorite holidays.

2 lucky family members are hopefully receiving these cards in the mail today if they haven't already!


Soup and more soup

We went from 70-80 degree afternoons to highs of 45-50 overnight a few weeks ago...The last few weeks it has held steady and the kids have coughs, doug and i have runny / stuffy noses and i've noticed that lack of energy in your body that comes when it is time for drastic weather changes. This year I have had a hard time adjusting, I think my allergies have been a bit worse than usual and my joints ache a little more than last year!

I always try to be optimistic about winter and secretly enjoy it a bit...I tend to be someone who needs to 'hibernate' in the winter. After a long and busy summer I usually feel exhausted and socially drained and need to recharge my batteries so to speak. I look forward to relaxing and watching a few tv shows, having more time to spend in my home studio sewing and crafting, and at our house we usually do more comfort cooking in the winter. I start pulling out recipes for meatloaf / chili / chicken and noodles / lots of homemade appetizers and dips / and a lot of crock-pot recipes. I am so excited because i have 2 new soup recipes to try this year! I must say 2 out of 4 of us is pretty picky...so I think I may only be able to get away with 1 of these recipes for the whole family. It is also done in the crock-pot so I am anxious to try it (so easy!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning
1 (16oz) can chili beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can / bottle beer
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (undrained)
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded cheddar (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours. (on low heat)
2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop (such a funny word!) of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

We have a busy, cold weekend ahead with trick-or-treating tomorrow night and then the fall work party at the sailing club on Saturday 'winterizing' the boats / docks so I plan on making the Chicken Tortilla soup this weekend and having something good to warm up with. The second soup recipe is for a delicious sounding Pumpkin, Mushroom soup that I think would be to die for....but I'll have to sneak it by my family....I may have that one all to myself! I have a weekly playdate and we do homemade soups and bread for lunch each week during the winter - so i may try it out there too! These 2 recipes are compliments of my sister/law Jenn.
Tonight is our fall party at school so we will be dressing up for that! These pictures are from our Pirates Ball party last weekend at the club. Austin wore his pirate costume from last year and we had fun drawing his face (I told doug he looked like keith richards after a long night!) but we found a batman costume for tonight and tomorrow night. Tyler was Austin's old bumblebee costume (this is a perk of having same sex children!) and this picture is a classic example of where you can find this child anytime he isn't getting his way!
If you have a great soup recipe that I can add to my list to try, please post a comment and leave it...I would love to try something new!!


new me, part II

family: the reason why we all make sacrifices...

i have been cleansing my soul the last few weeks and have wanted to share some of my thoughts as i do this.

i can't explain how hard it was to have something so prominent in your life for 4 long years to just be completely out of your life one day. as i was riding my bike with tyler in the trailer last week i spent 2 hours in the fresh, cool air reflecting on the last 4 years of life. this is what came to mind: way back before i was married, before i had my own children i taught a class to children of divorce on how to manage their grieving process relating to the divorce. we taught that the first stage of grief was denial -and once you got through denial you moved on to anger - after anger was acceptance and renewal. you also never knew how long each stage would last before you got to the next and most importantly was that none of these stages was your fault, it was natural.

while thinking about this process i realized that i had been grieving the selling of my company. it started with the denial, just plain ignoring the fact that i was doing it. then a long period of anger or grouchiness that i had done it....probably related to the fact that i felt a bit of failure for not being able to manage and balance a huge company and my family at the same time. i think i'm somewhere in between anger and acceptance right now...a little lost in what to do with my creative energies and all of my free time. let me also mention that throughout this whole process i have never regretted selling the company - it has just been a very hard process. i knew deep in my heart that it wasn't good for me anymore or my family, everyone was suffering.

one of my favorite artists and bloggers, elsie, has been working on an interesting post that i can't wait to read once she posts it. She is going to talk openly and candidly about having a career as an artist. I can't wait to see her take on it and while always thinking of myself as more an entrepreneur {probably due to my business degree and background, versus schooling in design or art} than an artist. But, she is going to talk about having a career as an artist or creator versus having a 'normal' job....so i think i fall into the category of artist, creator, designer - whatever you choose to call having a job where you never quite know where your next paycheck is coming from!

having said this i have also been contemplating how something so innocent becomes so huge and then what happens when it isn't really fun anymore. i read this post by melody ross, founder of chatterbox {a pioneer in the scrapbooking industry} and couldn't have related more. it all of a sudden made so much sense...you have an experience, come full circle, just to realize you have reached the beginning. a scary thought i must say, but it had some really deep meaning. i had gone through the last 4 years of really hard work mentally and physically demanding. an experience that has taught me so much about myself, including my faults as well as my talents, shown me boundaries in personal and professional life. most of all giving me the confidance to know that i can do anything i set my mind to and that i tend to be an overachiever when i want something and can see the 'vision'. the flip side of this is how does something that started on the kitchen table for some extra fun money slowly creep into your life and become something of a disease that takes over your family and personality? so here we are at the beginning - cleansing the soul - a fresh start - repairing the damage and deciding which road to take.


new shop

i can't wait to introduce my new etsy shop! you can find it by clicking here. I was going to wait to share the news until i had the store stocked with fun stuff, but wanted to go ahead and start playing with the design and uploading items. My hope is to design a few of my own quilts and post finished quilts and cut kits. As well as some handmade scrapbook / card items and kits. So, go ahead and get yourself familiar and check back often.

It has been raining all morning and is so dark in the house - i think this week has been our first reality check that winter really is coming. My body is trying to adjust...the runny nose, dull headache {this could also be directly related to the fact that I'm out of coffee} and lack of energy. The cold weather has thrown off my exercise routine since I bike outside with the kids in the trailer...yuck!

I have some Christmas cards to finish making today and then I'm hoping to finish up some scrapbook pages I have been working on. We have a busy weekend with dinner at my brothers house tonight and then the last sailing regatta of the year this weekend with a fun costume party Saturday night. Have a great weekend!



if you know us you know we are a huge sailing family...i will say that my husband is probably the most passionate about it with austin in a close second. i also love the water and most of the sailboats we've owned have had there own quaint uniqueness that i've been so fond of. i am very passionate too, but doug is competitive by nature so wins as the expert in our family. i win at being most passionate about running and crafting / creating : )

one of our 'many' boats along the way - this one was for racing...

one of our favorite blogs to read every morning over coffee is this one. This 16 year old kid is named Zac Sunderland and he left marina del ray, california on june 14th in a 36 foot sailboat in attempt to be the youngest male to sail {solo} around the world. wow. remember when you were 16? did you have a dream like this - and not only a dream - but the ambition to follow through with it? I am remembering when i was 16 and my dream was to learn to fly a private size plane, and unfortunately it didn't happen....this pales in comparison to sailing around the world. i just wanted to learn to fly - not solo around the world! if you have a minute check out his blog, even if you aren't an avid sailor, or know nothing about it, but appreciate ambition you will get something from this. it is so refreshing to see how many people are backing zac financially and spiritually hoping he succeeds.

doug coached soccer this fall for austin's team and really enjoyed it...i knew he'd be good from the beginning being so athletic, but i think he was a little skeptical of trying to teach 5 year old boys the strategy of soccer while just trying to hold their attention for an hour. their last game was last saturday and then were an exceptional team...doug was so proud of them and i was so proud that he was such a good teacher and didn't make it competitve, but just taught them how to play and love the sport. he has a new project for this fall / winter and is so excited. he has been wanting to create some sort of junior sailing program to grow the sport among young people...and not the sport of racing but the love of sailing. it looks like it is going to happen and i'm so proud that he is involved and helping renew the sport....more on this soon!

i'm working on a few creative projects and hope to share them soon!


31 goals

i have been wanting to share this scrapbook page i did about a month ago. i got the idea from a couple different places about setting goals...i've seen people do 1, 2, 5, and 10 year goals or goals at each birthday - so i decided to think about 31 things i wanted to accomplish in my 31st year. not an easy task i must say...i tried to find balance between personal goals, goals for my family, goals for my marriage and general goals. I took about 3-4 days just to think about and ponder the 31 things i wanted to include. I wanted the page to be simple with the focus on the goals - i am also really into using white pages as backgrounds right now and keep alot of 'white' space. I used paint underneath the goals and around the edges of the pictures. i also punched photo corners out of hambly transparencies and kept a rather bright theme!

I do need desperate help in figuring out how to post my scrapbook pages in the cleanest way. i don't have a 12 X 12 scanner nor do i have photoshop - so i'm limited in those ways...i just took a photo of this one so we'll see how well the picture turns out. also if anyone know what i need to do when i upload it so you can click on it and make it larger let me know!!!!

i challenge you (even if you don't scrapbook) to sit down and make a list of goals for the next 12 months...it is a good exercise in where you are at this point and what is important to focus on in the next year...then it serves as a great reminder and memory down the road!


Another soccer season ends...

Today was our last fall soccer game, a bit bittersweet i suppose. I'm ready to have our weekends back without any commitments, allowing us to travel if we want to. But, Austin made the best play today and it was SO fun to watch. you know how finally the last game of the season the underdog finally seems to get it? That is sort of his case. Doug coached this season and we were lucky to have 2 really - really good boys on our team. One was super fast and the other was great at getting the ball in the goal, so we scored a lot and the boys really improved on passing the ball as the season progressed.
Here's the deal, Austin isn't the fastest player so he kind of missed out on getting the ball very often because the two really good/fast players always had control. Today the ball ended up right in front of him with no one around and he (very controlled) took the ball down the field right to the line and then passed it right to the 'goal kicker' and he kicked it right in. It was awesome and he was so excited and doug and i were so proud! So...that is when you hate for the season to be over - but we got our pictures and trophies and kids loved it!


laugh away!

okay this made my day - take 6 minutes to watch, laugh and smile!


her name is suzi blu and she is quite funny!

Thursday hello!

I can't wait to share the news with all of you about my new job starting November 3rd! I was offered the position of Twigs teacher for my son's preschool class. I will be teaching the 4-5 year old class that we call twigs. Austin goes to a cooperative preschool where the parents run the school. They are in charge of everything from hiring teachers to raising funds for the school, etc. The greatest part is that once or twice a month as a parent you participate in class with your child, hands-on learning what they do and being a part of the process.

Austin started here when he was 2 years old, so this is our 4th year and it was a great way to 'ease' into the process of him being in school and away from home for a few hours. I have always loved knowing how class works and what they are learning about. They start as Seedlings, then become sprouts and graduate as Twigs. I have a lot of creative ideas for class and can't wait to start working on my plans!

more later!


yummy fall recipe

I wanted to share this really yummy fall recipe - whether you love sweet potatoes or not this is really good!

*twice-baked sweet potatoes*
2 large sweet potatoes
2 oz (1/4 of 8 oz. package) cream cheese
2 T. milk
1 T. brown sugar (i did a little extra!)
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup pecan pieces

heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil lined baking pan. bake 30 to 35 min. or until tender.

scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl (or mixer) leaving 1/4 inch-thick shells. Add cream cheese, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes; mash until blended.

spoon potato mixture into shells ; top with nuts. bake 8 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

these were awesome and tyler loved them!!

Think Christmas time!

I did a workshop last week and we did a christmas card so i thought I would share. I have since made a couple other versions using an older stamp set! This card was mulit-dimensional and we got the idea from http://www.beate.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/ - she has a great website and gallery with tons of ideas!

I used the Season of Joy stamp set from the Stampin Up! catalog and the Ski Slope designer paper from the holiday mini.

the cards at the bottom are done with paper from last years catalog that i had leftover and an older stamp set! I embossed the green santa and then colored the other one with ink and an aqua painter!


The new me!

Some of you may know this and some of you may not so I wanted to share what has been going on in my life the last couple months and introduce my new blog and the new chapter in my life i am embarking on!

Most of you who know me know that i have been the founder and owner of a company called a la mode for the past 4 years. The company started as a hobby when my oldest son Austin (now 5) was 18 months old. I wanted something to do while i was staying at home and designed a small and simple line of handbags that I was making for friends and family. I had the idea that the bags might sell in home parties where women could pick from a line of fabric and purse designs and essentially design their own custom handbags with different add-on embellies. I put together a small test program and launched a la mode with my small group of friends. The first few parties i did were successful and the response was overwhelming so i knew i had something. Within a few short months i had a few ladies wanting to sell the bags and a few women helping me sew them.

the company has grown and changed so so much since then - it is really mind-blowing. within 6 short months we had big equipment, full-time seamstresses, a list of design associates and more sophisticated styles and fabrics. through much streamlining, hiring, training, recruiting, friendships, mistakes and successes the company continued to grow and become more than a full-time job for me. It still amazes me that i started this little idea in our kitchen on a cheap, borrowed sewing machine and now it has a separate studio and has a presence in over 7 states. such an accomplishment!

In april of 2007 my husband and i had our second little boy, tyler. It was rocky at first managing a newborn and the business...but somehow i made it through. once tyler was a couple months old he visited the studio with me daily first in his carseat, then on a blanket, lots of time in the baby bjorn sling, the playpen and finally running around getting into nearly everything! this was definately one of the most challenging times in my mommyhood / career. the whole reason for starting a la mode was to be able to stay home with my kids and still earn some extra money. But, it was becoming really difficult to manage both in a good way. The middle of July I had a realization that some major things in my life needed to change.

I talked to doug about it and with many tears i decided it was best to try to find another fabulous person to take over alm. It was becoming too much for austin to be at the studio everyday bored to tears and tyler was just into everything and safety was becoming an issue. I just couldn't find the time to manage a full-time career and a full-time sahm. so i decided it was time to enter a new chapter in life and sell alm. i found a person i trusted and admired to acquire the company and continue on the path of my dreams and hopes for alm.

i have continued to stay on as founding director, selling and recruting for alm. really these were the things i was always so passionate about, but the rest of the company just got in the way. this would allow me to still be a part of my passion, explore new avenues and give more quality time to my boys and family. so - here we are chapter 2: sara creates! i can't wait to see where the next few months and year take me. i have finally finished that home studio you all read about months and months ago in the alm studio blog - i have been scrapbooking much more and even got my own quilting machine back out and dusted off!

the kids and i have been loving all our undisturbed time together - we've been going on 90 minute bike rides every day enjoying the start of fall. i don't have to miss any of austin's field trips because i am too busy at work and can't spare the time! i feel like i'm actually watching my kids grow and learn instead of just watching it pass by. our family life has calmed down - laundry and dinner get done in a reasonable time and we actually have somewhat of a schedule or routine around here (and it doesn't involve daily trips to the post office!!) Life is good! I'm so glad i took the plunge - it is paying off! I didn't realize how much i was missing until i saw it up close again.

i hope you all will continue to visit my new blog. i plan on posting all kinds of creative things - i have some goals i would like to achieve over the next 12 months and i'd love for you to come with me on the journey. look for pictures of scrap pages, cardmaking, quilting and everything creative!