Carving out Time for a Workout

Now that the Turkey has been carved, you may be on your way home. But wait! Stuck at the Airport? Interstate at a standstill? Find a space and take 30-minutes for this quick workout. Feel good about you being more stuffed than the turkey!

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com.


Autumn Wreath

Every week I need to do something "Pinteresting". This means that I take one of the thousands of links I've "pinned" to my Pintest boards and recreate it. I love Pinterest. I'm obssessed with Pinterest (you can check out my boards by clicking on the link to the right).  It's probably the most organized and longest to-do list I've put together.

I made this wreath from existing supplies, including the cardboard ring cut from a package I received. I used new powders from WOW Embossing Powders exclusive Desert Sands Collection and melted down some of  Ultra High Copper powder with their Melt It and poured the mixture into WOW's new flower molds to make the cabochons. Since I've been practicing more with making my own cabochons, I finally gave in and bought a Ranger melting pot on eBay. Love it! 

(My apologies, but some of the images did not look as great coming over to the blog.)


Labor Day Crafting with OWH, WOW & More

You got me. I do my heavy duty crafting and blogging on 3-day weekend holidays. It's not that I am never creating, but I am not blogging.

OWH's first challenge of the day is to create a card with a winter or Christmas theme. This is all we are talking about at work in the ecommerce space!! So, it was easy for me to immediately relate and use the word that comes to mind daily as I plan for this season: PEACE.

Here is the inspiration sketch:

And here is my card:

The glue isn't quite dry on the cards but I am anxious to get onto the next challenge. For this card, I used all items at my desk including a new Spellbinders embossing plate I bought on eBay. 


OWH Sketch #171 - Easing into Memorial Day Weekend Crafting

I recently sent my first package of cards to Operation Write Home (OWH). I love what they are doing to keep our troops and their families in touch. If you haven't heard of their program, please check out their site at http://operationwritehome.org/.

Coming from a military family, I'm very familiar with the letters written home when my dad was in the field. I still have them close at hand in a memory box. They were the best of letters (back when snail mail was the it-thing). Now that my dad has passed away, they are even more precious to me.

And it's important to me to continue to support our troops anyway that I can. It's like Memorial Day everyday.

Since I have to work this 3-day weekend, I'm only approaching simple projects with gusto. I made a couple of wedding cards last night for more beautiful events to come. I made this card below with one of the sketches at OWH. I love their sketches because it takes the burden off design and I can make cards quickly for my next package.

Have a great long weekend. Please remember to thank a Veteran or Active Duty member if you know or passby someone.


Dig Deep Scrapbook Challenge ... De-Stashing Old Paper

I happened upon a scrappbook challenge at S.W.A.T. (Scrap Warriors Advanced Training). It was to "dig deep into older papers and use them in a layout. the challenge called out to me to take action. Maybe it was the name of the blog that literally forced me to move, or maybe it was the stack of paper I just pulled out of the scrap bag I am dusting off in preparation for NSD.

What I came up with was a cupcake layout with paper from Creative Imaginations. The photos are from 2009 and the paper just as old.


Card Challenge #4 & #5 for OWH

I managed two more cards today for Operation Write Home. The first card was my inaugural attempt at the latest trend in Chalkboard Techniques. It wasn't that hard and I love the look. The things with wings theme came together well with Wow Embossing Powder's stamp set, "Make a Wish" and several of their powders including bright opaque white.

My second card was based off of Leslie Hanna's sketch for the Sketch Challenge. I reached for scraps I had on my craft table and pulled together an easy but adorable Thank You card. This one is ready for my next pet sitter.


Card Challenge #2 for OWH

I was looking for a reason to use Cricut's new Teddy Bear Parade cartridge. The second challenge posted today at Operation Write Home was to work with a furry friend for a kid's card.

President's Day Weekend with OWH

It's President's Day weekend, and I am starting off ambitious crafty plans by joining some of the challenges hosted by Operation Write Home.

They are hosting a virtual card making party this weekend with the first challenge of 10 using Chevron stripes kicked off by Erika at Scrappin Intervention.

Here's a quick one from me for this challenge before I run out to the craft store to hit the sales!


Free App: Winter CHA 2013

I just landed in Southern California!

After one week in Las Vegas for the CES tradeshow, I'm thinking a day at the spa would be divine. My feet are well callused and ready for another few days of non-stop standing/walking on hard concrete. My body is adjusting (perhaps not in a pretty way) to the lack of sleep and strange convention diet.  Yup - all set for CHA.

I love coming to the Craft & Hobby Association show. It's so colorful and alive! It's also super huge!

To help me navigate the floor, schedule, shuttle service, even facebook and twitter posts.
If you are going to CHA, I highly recommend downloading this app.


Have a great weekend!


Free App Friday - Blogger

This is the first in a series this year called, Free App Friday.

I'm obsessed with apps. This is why I heart and am tethered to my iPhone. This is why my iPad sat in the box for almost 3 months untouched. I know these devices feed my addiction. Yes, I'm an app hoarder. I have over 150 apps. I use many, not all, regularly. They are organized by category, and all live on my iPhone, but not my iPad.

I think my catch phrase last year was, "I bet there's an app for that."

So, with only 52 weeks in a year, I figured I could reveal some of the strings behind this madness because there are many apps that are actually quite useful and free. (I do purchase if there's more to an app or if limited as free. Also, my phone is not jail-broken so any average Jane can emulate my passion.)

MEET: Blogger

Simply put, this is meant to keep me on track with my resolve to keep my blog updated. Since I now have an iPad, I'll probably use it more because I prefer to type longer messages on that device versus my iPhone. I spend enough time trying to draft work emails from the phone that by the time I blog, I'm all thumbs.

Available for both iPhone & Android. Enjoy!


WOW! Wednesday - Thinking of You Card

Happy Wednesday! It's only the second day of 2013, but I have planned out much of my month which is mostly traveling around the West to various trade shows and sales meetings. I'm excited for my third CHA in the last 12 months! If you're at the show in Anaheim this month, let me know!

When I book travel, I tend to think of friends and family in far away places. Who is in the area I'm going to, who I haven't seen for a while, who is far, far away that I miss seeing often. Today, the gentleman that came to mind was Father Joe Pendergast. He's no where near any area on my travel itinerary, but maybe he entered my mind because of the shamrocks I punched with my latest Martha Stewart punch purchase.

Father Joe is back in Ireland. He's in his 80s now and moved back to his home country mid-year 2012 to settle down near his family. I really miss him. He's been part of my life for the last 18 years. He's so funny, charming, spiritual and down-to-earth...he's the Irish grandpa I never had.

I made a card for him today. It may seem a bit girly, but the note I'll include will remind him of the bright sunny state (much like the card colors) he once called home that hopefully will carry him through the Irish winter.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: WOW! Embossing Powders - Build a Butterfly & Everyday Sentiments

WOW! Embossing Powders - [for sentiment] Blueberry, Nutmeg and Paprika from Suzy West's Pantry Collection, [to create gradients in butterflies] Bay Area Blue and Cable Car from Suzy West's By the Bay Collection, Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum from Suzy West's Candy Counter Collection, Bodacious Blue and Neutral Shimmer from Suzy West's Embossing Glitter Collection, and Primary Sherbert.

Scrap Pieces of Paper, Dimensional Adhesive to "pop" butterflies up and red/white bakers twine from Martha Stewart. 1.5" Circle Punch (ends of each strip were partially punched and half circles mixed up within inset of the strip where original circles were punched. Adding the touch of color under the butterflies.


2013 New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!
I feel like it was just yesterday when I wrote some brief "guidelines" (too short to be called a tutorial) on how to create New Year's Resolutions. Well, it was a year ago. And, I believe one of my resolutions was to maintain this blog. Ummm....I would call it a good start. I did manage some blog posts in 2012 and I also managed monthly blog posts for my design team at the U.S. WOW! Embossing Powder blog. At the end of the year, I felt accomplished enough to have learned from the experience and to keep that resolution on my list for 2013.

I won't promise my editorial calendar to you, but I will say, let's get started on some better content for this year.  :)

Let's assume you have some of the following resolutions for 2013:
1. Spending less and saving more.
2. Traveling to beautiful and interesting places.
3. Learning a new hobby.
4. Eating more clean and healthy.

It seems like a good general list of resolutions, but where to start? That's where I can help.

How about a few links I found inspiring and in line with some good options to begin checking off the above list:

For Spending Less and Saving More 
This website is great for finding any coupon codes for 1000s of websites online: www.retailmenot.com.
I saved almost $20 replenishing my stash of Bath & Body Works lotions and hand soaps. The youngest man of the house was appalled by a rumor the other day that Cucumber Melon had been discontinued. I picked up some bottles for him from the Classic collection.

A couple other links to try:
Bargainist - latest online sales, RSS feed available
Safeway Just 4 U - grocery savings, also works for Vons
Money Saving Mom - well organized in a number of categories: family, kitchen, deals online, etc.
Pinterest Search: "money saving tips" or "budget diva"

For Traveling to Beautiful & Interesting Places
Zvents - cool site with Calendar of Events for local places. Just put in your locale or where you want to go. Even works for small towns like a couple of my favorites, Menomonie, WI and Knob Noster, MO.
Pinterest - I know I have this under every topic, but Pinterest is like my new Google. Check out this beautiful resort & spa, we stayed in recently in Coronado.

The resort's website said there was no availability, but I was able to book a few nights stay through Pinterest! Just put in your dream locations. I had searched - San Diego travel. You can see what else I linked to from my Wanderlust board.

For Learning a New Hobby 
Wiki-How - very basic, to-the-point tutorial
Pinterest Search -anything you like; knitting, photography, quilt, bread machine, nail design, makeup tips, etc.
Youtube - some people have waaaaaayyy tooo much time on their hands. :) See trending topics or put random searches in...good times. I find many a good laugh at WongFuProductions' Weekends. You may be inspired by their adventures.

Eating more clean and healthy
Clean Eating Magazine - great in print, great online. One of my new faves.
Pinterest Search: "clean eating" or "vegan"

Good luck! Much health, faith and prosperity to you in 2013!
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