9-11-15 New Releases, featuring birthday cards and apple pancakes

This week’s new releases were a lot of fun to work with!

I love scrapping birthdays. I know a lot of scrappers see them as a bit of a chore, but I love finding all the little stories of someone’s special day. That never gets boring for me. If anything I probably over-scrap birthdays.

Jason’s 40th birthday was a pretty big deal, and definitely one of the most important things I’ll scrap this year. I have at least 20 stories I want to tell from that week, which I know sounds crazy. I’ve done several pages already, but none yet about the present opening extravaganza.

I narrowed the photos down to my favorite 30 or so. I wanted pictures of each present, plus a few more of him just looking happy and excited and cute. Then I stared at them for a few minutes feeling totally lost as to what to do. Slowly though, stories started to emerge. I jotted down a few ideas, enough to make three pages. I noticed three themes in the pictures I’d chosen- cards, 49ers gear, and handmade presents. I set those aside and the rest I’ll probably just plop down in a Project Life style template.

I’ll be sharing lots more birthday pages over the next couple of weeks.

2015-04-07 Cards web

Journaling reads- Jason got a bunch of cards for his birthday, including an origami card from Charles, a Braille card from Jeannie, and one from Steve from Japan!

A Very Happy Birthday kit by Aprilisa
House Party template by Little Rad Trio

My second LO doesn’t have nearly as long of a backstory. It’s about some awesome apple pancakes that Jason makes.

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Journaling reads- Jason made delicious apple pancakes this weekend for the first time. They would become one of our favorite brunch foods.

Apple-licious kit by LJS Designs
House Party template by Little Rad Trio

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

5 pages | Summer 2014

Actually, nine pages. But who’s counting?

I love doing a “song of the summer” page every year. The whole world was singing this song, and we were no exception.

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Journaling reads- This was the song of Summer 2014. It originated with Ferrel’s “Happy”, but srt of took on a life of it’s own. We made up Kitty versions, a zombie version, and it all culminated with Weird Al’s “Tacky”, the best of them all. 🙂 Artist At Work. I love all of Just Jaimee’s paint-y papers!

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June 2014 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

This is one of my favorite LO’s of the year. Love having all these pictures in one page.
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Journaling reads- This summer, one of my goals was to get 100 family photos while Charles was with us. It was a pretty lofty goal, and I’m still not sure if I actually accomplished it, but we did take a lot. We got pictures on airplanes, at rest stops, in hotel rooms, at the movie theater, in the park, and in the car. There aren’t too many “stellar” photos, but I’m grateful for each one we took anyway- Summer 2014 Credits: Right Here, Right Now, Today kit by Inspired Designs Queen of Hearts vol. 3 by Queen Wild Scraps Sprinklers! Such a fun morning!

I Am Happy by JB Studio

2014-07-02 sprinkler web

Journaling reads- We got a cool surprise when we went to the park this morning. There was a man from the Park Service testing out the sprinklers. Of course we took the opportunity to run through them all! It was kind of like our own personal water park. I especially loved being on the swings when the sprinklers turned on. I had to be careful not to get my phone wet, but I was super happy to get these pics of Charles running through. Such a fun morning!

May Flowers Mega Mix collab
Picture Perfect 96 template (NSD grab bag) by Aprilisa

Now, onto the birthday pages!

2014-07-05 Happy Birthday web

Credits: Look Who’s Celebrating! by Magical Scraps Galore
Whitespace vol. 9 by Connie Prince

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It’s My Birthday by Little Rad Trio
June template challenge template by Dear Friends Design

Throw Your Hands in the Air

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Journaling reads- When I was going through b-day photos, I noticed that he did this pose after opening each present. Too funny 🙂 Credits: It’s My Party kit by Little Rad Trio Fish Fingers and American Typewriter font

It’s My Party kit by Little Rad Trio
Fish Fingers and American Typewriter font

2014-07-05 happy web

Pure Happiness kit by Blue Heart Scraps

And last, but not least, a Fourth of July page.
2014-07-04 Fabulous Fourth web

Fabulous Fourth kit by Dandelion Dust Designs
Triangular Volume 3 by Connie Prince
(part of the July 2015 Template bundle)

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

Five pages | Lilypad Challenges

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a challenge at a digiscrapping site. Franky, with recent changes in the rewards points for several sites, they’re just not worth it anymore. I don’t want to wait three months to get my gift certificates, and I want to get more than 5 cents for completing a challenge. /end rant.

I was all set to finish up the Month of Challenges at TLP, but when I realized I’d be out of town the last few days of January, I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete them. But there’s always next year! (and I might go back and do some of them anyway)

I decided on the spur of the moment to participate in this month’s TLP challenges. I was able to knock them out pretty quickly (except that darned haiku page!) It feels good to do challenges again. It feels especially good knowing I’ll get a 30% off coupon next month. I’m obsessed with Just Jaimee’s monthly kits and I want to collect them all!

You can see two of my challenge pages in this post. Here are the rest-

favorite web

The first challenge was to use products from this month’s BYOC. I’m in love with that huge word art.

Journaling reads- Still my favorite after all these years. Palm Beach 2005

Inspired papers
So Messed Up paint
Imprint on Me brushes (some altered) by Just Jaimee

September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

The next challenge was to use the word “wish” in a page. It was a no-brainer to use this pic of the Little Man blowing out his candles last summer.

Credits: September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

This page was So Hard! We had to write the journaling in the form of a haiku. I am clearly no poet.

Journaling reads-
Random silly acts
Sitting with Grandma today
Caught with the camera

September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee
Made with the new Template Builder actions by Mommyish (which are AWESOME)

September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee March freebie template by Amy Martin


The next challenge was a Template Challenge. Do you sense a “silly” theme going on with these pages?

Journaling reads- I love that, even after not seeing each other in almost a year, they immediately start horsing around like no time has passed. Fort Lauderdale International Airport June 1, 2013.

surprise web


And for the last challenge we were asked to lift a LO from the fabulous Shanna Noel’s SC gallery. I picked this one. Loved the script-y painted title and the paint smears behind the photo. My page tells the story of the surprise we threw LM for his birthday.

Journaling reads- [Little Man] didn’t know, but we had big plans for the day. Daddy asked for help “taking out the trash”, and ended up taking him to the movies instead! But that wasn’t all- when they got home, there were more surprises… Zombie Farm cupcakes and birthday presents! We usually celebrate his birthday on his last weekend with us, but we decided to change things up this year. He was so surprised! It was awesome!

September 2013 Storyteller by Just Jaimee
Careless and Painted alpha by Allison Pennington
Lifted from “silly” LO by Shanna Noel

These were fun to make. I’m already excited for next month’s round of challenges!

Spring Into Health LO’s

Tiff has some super cute new products for Grab A Byte this month. I love the little food papers and ellies, but there are plenty of more neutral items in this collection as well. Here are two pages I made. (For even more supplies in this same color scheme, check out Ohana Designs GAB products that I talked about earlier this week).

we heart cracker barrel web

The first page is another installment in our Epic Summer Road Trip saga. It’s funny how I find myself a lot more drawn to the smaller stories of our travels lately. I will get around to scrapping more monuments and things, but I have a feeling I’ll be scrapping that summer for years to come, so I’m in no hurry.

Journaling reads- We Heart Cracker Barrel. We always try to eat Cracker Barrel on road trips at least once. They’re a nice alternative to fast food, and there are usually healthy options (though we don’t always take advantage of those) Daytona Beach, 2013.

Spring Into Health by Inspired by Dominic
Template by Little Green Frog
Wood It Shine styles by Inspired by Dominic

Spring into Health by Inspired by Dominictemplate by Scrappin' with Liz

The second page was about the birthday breakfast we had for the Little Man. I usually don’t love tiny photos on my pages, but the food pictures were pretty terrible. So I threw as many RadLab actions as possible and shrunk them way down. And I kind of love that milk splatter behind the big photo.

Journaling reads- We had super tasty breakfast at Nick’s 50’s Diner. 6.29.13

Spring into Health by Inspired by Dominic
template by Scrappin’ with Liz

You can see more of our Summer 2013 adventures here.

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

Little Man’s 11th birthday extravaganza

This is how we celebrated Little Man’s birthday this year. (on June 30th, not his actual birthday, which he spent with his grandparents).

We woke up late (for us) at around 8. We’ve been hearing about Nick’s Diner from our friends Antoine and Heidi for months, so this seemed the perfect time to try it out. Nick’s is a 50’s style diner with pretty cool decor and a jukebox playing fun 50’s and 60’s music. They serve breakfast all day, so we went with that. It was really tasty, especially the hash browns! And oh my lord, the biscuits…

IMG_3324(I’d show the food, but the lighting and all the red made our pics look super unappetizing).

We had to make a couple of stops to get a few necessities/ cupcake liners before we could go home. We tried to be sneaky, but our lack of planning made things a bit stressful.  We finally made it back home and LM was still not suspecting anything.

Jason told him they  were going to go outside and “check the mail”. Instead, they went to the movies! They saw Superman in 3D and really loved it.


Meanwhile back at the ranch, I was busy making Zombie Farm cupcakes! Also wrapping birthday presents in baby shower and Santa wrapping paper. And trying to keep the cat from eating the balloons. But mostly making cupcakes.


It started storming pretty hard when they got out of the theater, so I had to hustle to get things done so they could come home. My zombies look a little janky, but zombies aren’t supposed to be pretty anyway 😛


I ran around like a crazy person trying to finish up, and they went to Starbucks to kill a little time.


At this point, LM still didn’t know what we were planning, so it was a big surprise when they  came home to cupcakes and presents!




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Opening presents. He got a book, some HexBug stuff, an RC helicopter, a new mouse, and a case for his iPod touch. And a skateboard.

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Of course the Birds had to get in on the action too.


We went outside for Jason to show him his awesome skateboard moves.


Somehow I only got video of LM on the skateboard and no pictures, so here’s one I took the next day. This dude is too cool for school!


We went to hybachi for dinner. LM has requested Saito’s every year for awhile now, and we were happy to oblige! Love it there.


Sometimes it’s physically impossible for me to take a picture with my eyes open…


They always put on a good show.


The guys got chicken, and I got chicken + shrimp. We all ate WAY too much.


When we got home, we played Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.


Before bed, we had cupcakes and ice cream.


This was a really great birthday. It was probably the most stressful party I’ve ever put on, with all the plan changes, but SO worth it! I’m glad we did it earlier in the summer so we could watch him enjoying his presents. The best part was that he was totally surprised! He’s used to us having the party on the last weekend he’s here. I think we all like it better this way 🙂

You can read about last year’s party here.

Little Man’s 10th birthday party (2012)

I just realized that I never blogged about LM’s birthday party last year! Here is a quick synopsis, and by “quick”, I mean not quick at all….

We have developed a few birthday traditions over the years. Since we rarely see him on his actual birthday, we are always able to surprise him with a party. He never knows when it’s going to happen during the summer. I think the surprise part means a lot to him. 🙂

Last year, we decided to make a whole day of it. We started out by waking him up and going to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was a gorgeous morning. He drew 9 in the sand and let the waves wash it away.

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We had breakfast at a restaurant right off the beach. (I can’t remember the name, that’s the problem with waiting a year to document :P)

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After breakfast, we stopped by my old hospital. The girls were really excited to see us and we spent a little time catching up.

We came back home and hung out for awhile. After lunch the guys headed out to do boy things (comic book store and Best Buy). I started working on The Surprise.


These little guys took a little longer than expected, so I had Jason stay away longer. I had a really fun time making Angry Birds cupcakes, but it got a little stressful there towards the end! But it was SO worth it to see the look on his face when he came in!

I had little chalk drawings going up the stairs. The story was that the Pigs were trying to steal the Birthday Cake, and the Angry Birds needed LM’s help in an Obi Wan kind of way…

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Clearly he was totally unimpressed by the whole thing….

Blowing out the candles.


And then presents!

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A Tale of Two Blueys…


(I’ll talk more about how I made the cupcakes in another post if anyone is interested).

After we were sufficiently loaded up with sugary cupcakes, we headed out to dinner. LM’s favorite restaurant in West Palm is Saito’s, a hibachi grill downtown. It’s really delicious and they put on a great show!



They even gave him a special dessert for his birthday.


Love that place! My mouth is watering just thinking about going back.

We went back home and they started getting the new toys and games out to play. I was done, so I went to bed. Jason did snap a couple of pictures for me though 🙂


It was a really great day, hopefully one he’ll remember for a long time. 🙂

Okay last birthday post…

Well probably not actually, since we haven’t gone to the beach yet. So technically I’m not yet 35 since the ocean hasn’t washed away 34 yet. But I digress…

So my birthday was on a Monday this year, which meant Jason had to work. But he had a Dr. appointment that day, so he got home early. Which meant I got to see him in daylight on a weekday, which was a nice present in itself.

This year we continued the tradition of getting me a Cookie Puss ice cream cake from Carvel. Jason has gotten me one every year since we’ve been married, except for last year when he actually MADE me a cake (!)

The conversation went something like this…

Jason: Do you want ice cream cake this year?
Jen: Are you going to help me eat it?
Jason: Yes, I’ll help
Jen: More than one peace? So I won’t end up eating the whole thing again?
Jason: I’ll have two pieces. *pauses* And you’ve been doing really good with not getting doughnuts at the grocery store.
Jen: It’s been three weeks…
Jason: So I thought as a reward for not eating doughnuts, I’d buy you an ice cream cake.
Jen: Sounds reasonable…


So I got a Cookie Puss. And Jason and the Little Man sang to me. It was awesome.


It was a really nice day. I got lots of calls and texts and FB messages. Lots of singing and birthday cards with kitties.

It’s also my BIL’s birthday. (All the cool people are born on February 11th). He sent me this video awhile back and I just KNOW y’all want to watch it. French kitties!

Thanks to my love for making every birthday (and every day) special.

27 questions on my 35th birthday

I’m stealing this from Kristin’s blog. I love these “snapshots of yourself at a certain age” kinds of things! Also if anyone has any other random question to get me to 35, ask me in the comments 🙂

1. What Do You Do For A Living? 

I’m a Real Housewife of Palm Beach County, which is in no way glamorous or exciting. But I super love it. In a former life I worked in Medical Supplies. When I left, I joined the team at a digital scrapping site that recently closed. Now I do Creative Team work for Tiff of Inspired by Dominic Designs and Mandy King, I recently joined the Document Life Workshop Team as well. So basically I scrapbook. And do homey stuff. And cook. But none of it for a living, per se.

2. Who Do You Love? 

My family, friends, and the world in general. A cute bald guy in particular 🙂

3. Do You Think You Are a Good Person?

I try to be. I fall short on occasion, but that’s always the goal.

4. How Old Are You?

35. Today. It’s so odd because in my teenage years and early twenties, I was old for my age. But now I feel “behind” somehow.

5. Who’s Your Best Friend? 

Jason. Totally. I tell him things that I never thought I would tell anyone out loud. He and I are a great team, and that is something I never thought I’d have with anyone.  Also this sweet girl.

6. How Often Do You Laugh? 

Oh, all the time. Sometimes inappropriately. I often find myself saying “That was way funnier in my brain”. Like my HIPA jokes. Total fail every time, but I keep trying. It helps to live with someone who is hilarious in a quiet but wonderful way. He makes me laugh until my face hurts. Then, there’s my sister

7. What Makes You Smile? 

Kitties. Having a busy brain. Getting things done. Kitties. Commercials with kids and animals. Instagram. Working out. Oh wait, that’s more grimacing… Good books and good talks. Holding hands. Kitties.

8. Who’s Your Most Dangerous Enemy? 

Haha. Well if I answer this completely honestly I’ll have to say I have only really had two enemies in my life, not counting myself. One thing I have learned the hard way is that sometimes you’ll come across a person who just doesn’t like you for whatever reason. That’s just part of life. The end.

But I’m totally my own worst critic.

9. Where Do You Live? 

South Florida. Would love to move back to Tennessee one day.

10. Do You Think You’re Strong?

I think I used to be stronger because I didn’t have a choice. I’m working on strong this year.

11. What Was The Most Important Thing You’ve Done So Far? 

Helping to raise my sister. Most definitely.

12. What Was The Most Stupid Thing You’ve Done So Far?

The stripper. The boss. Oh wait, you mean done like done done? Hmmm… Not finishing my college education probably.

13. Do You Love Yourself? 

If I don’t, nobody will. So yes, absolutely.

14. What Is Your Favorite Word? 

Awesome. I so overuse that word. But coming from the Awesome Family, I kind of have to 🙂

15. When Was The Last Time You Cried?

Saturday night over something that so wasn’t worth it. But sometimes I spring a leak. It happens.

16. What Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now? 
Winning the lottery or a visit from my sister.

17. Picture Yourself In 5 Years From Now 
These are always the toughest for me. Hopefully still happily married and living closer to my family.

18. Do You Regret Anything? 

I try not to live with regrets. I think every screw up has had far reaching consequences that have landed me where I am today. I have made many many mistakes, but hopefully I’ve learned from them.

19. What’s The First Thing You Do In The Morning? 

Huddle up with Jason and pretend it’s the weekend for just ten more minutes…

20. What Are You Thinking Just Before Going To Bed? 

I always listen to audiobooks as I go to sleep. Have done ever since I was a tiny kid, only they were records back then. You know, in the Dark Ages. I have all the Stephanie Plum books in one long playlist on my iPod, so I just listen to them over and over.

21. What Was The Highest Point You’ve Ever Been To?

The mountains in California between L. A. and Bakersfield. I’m pretty sure that’s it. I’ve never been in any super tall buildings that I recall.

22. If There’s One Thing In Your Life You Want To Change Right Now, What Is It?

The IRS realizing they’ve made a mistake and we really don’t owe them a big stack of cash.

23. What Are You Proud Of?

Finding creative things to do that I love. My 25 year old self thought she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. Being a much better stepmother than I was 5 years ago. Being a good wife. My 25 year old self thought marriage was the devil.

24. Sum Up Your Life In One Sentence

Enjoy what you can while you still can and try to be a good person while doing it.

25. Name The Thing That Annoys You The Most

The sound of silverware in plates. It makes my teeth hurt. And people who pee on the toilet seat and leave it there. Also drivers who make turns before looking out for pedestrians.

26. Do You Have Secrets?

Of course.

27. What Makes You Laugh?

Jason. Kitties. The “Take me to Tortilla Land” song they play in Winn Dixie. Jon Stewart.

And one final question
Are You Happy?

So very happy. To a ridiculous degree.

“Jason Is Great” Week

I was a week late in celebrating Jason’s birthday. I am a bad wife. 😛 In my defense, his birthday was the day after we moved and we had already planned to celebrate it later than the actual day.

Here are a few of the highlights…

I made this. It’s my first piece of “homemade home decor”. I’m not really into the whole handmade scene, but I’m definitely willing to dip my toe in. And the more I see, the more excited I get to start making fun stuff for our new place.

(Frame is from Target. Fonts are American Typewriter and Lobster 1.4)

I also made Sausage Pasta from this recipe from All Recipes. My photos were bad, definitely not blog-worthy. One of Jason’s favorite recipes.

I made this lemon cake recipe from Ina Garten. It was good, but a lot more lemony than I was expecting. I guess that happens when you use real lemons 😛 Unfortunately it was way too much cake for us and I had to toss most of it. Note to self- half all future baking.

I also made Fish Tacos. So tasty 🙂

The last Favorite Meal I made consisted of Apricot Dijon Chicken and Broccoli gratin.

The “week” ended up stretching a little longer than expected, but it was nice getting to cook all of his favorite meals.

As for presents, he was going back and forth between an Apple TV, the TiVo Premiere and a bluetooth for the car. He ended up going with the Motorola Roadster 2. He’s really liking it and it helps a lot on the longer commute. He’s able to use Siri to call and text me, and listen to Pandora through the radio.

I think overall it was an okay birthday experience. I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to, but I think our cheaper holidays make us more creative. And I can mark off one more thing on my 52 in 52 list.