“Lobster Jen” using Hot, Hot, Hot by Mandy King

As soon as I saw the colors for this month’s Gotta Grab It, I thought of sunburns. (Nothing against the colors, but that’s just how my brain works). And as I am fair-skinned and get burned quite easily, I had a slew of Lobster Jen pics. Mandy decided to add journaling cards to this month’s kit, so when I found Bre’s template with spots for them, it was a perfect match.

Lobster Jen web


Hot Hot Hot kit, Hodgepodge, Border Clusters and Journal Cards by Mandy King
May FB Freebie template by Rainy Dayz

*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 <a href=”https://hclappy.wordpress.com/category/ct-layouts/”>here</a&gt;.

Thanks for looking!

Beachy LO’s using Tropical by Ohana Designs

I have a weakness for beach themed kits. Posibly because I have hundreds of beach photos. 🙂

We found this tiny, nearly deserted beach tucked away in Boynton. We should really go back there one day.

Tropical kit and alpha by Ohana Designs

Tropical kit and alpha by Ohana Designs

This was one of my favorite days with Jason ever. (Though it started out pretty crappy). Our first trip to Key Largo was just… magical is the only word I can think of to describe it. Pretty hokey, but true.

I wish the photos were better, but these were from our old Blackberry’s I think. And you can see Jason with hair!

Swimming in Key Largo web

Journaling reads- How many people can say they learned how to swim on a beach in Key Largo? We went to Harry Harris Park, which has a rocky beach.. The water is a tidal pool and very calm. It was the perfect spot for swimming, Jason was very patient and a wonderful teacher. Luckily it wasn’t crowded., so it wasn’t too embarassing for a 30 year old flopping around in the water. trying to learn to doggy paddle. I won’t say I became an excellent swimmer that day, but that is where my love affair with the water really began. May 28, 2008

Tropical kit by Ohana Designs (some recoloring)
Template by Seatrout Scraps
KG Like A Skyscraper font

“My Names” using Amaze Me by Mandy King

I did this one for the All About Me challenge at Gotta Pixel.

Amaze Me kit by Mandy King


Journaling reads-
Jen- What my stepson calls me. He was little when we first met, and couldn’t say my whole name.
Sweety- what my husband calls me
Jemfer- what my dad calls me
Sissy- what my sister used to call me
Neesan- what she calls me now
Hclappy- my online name
Jennifer- my actual name

Amaze Me by Mandy King

Life Changing Words

I have a bad habit of giving unsolicited advice. But when a friend came to me with stories of frustrated step-motherhood last week, I had to share these words of wisdom. By a happy coincidence, this also coincided with a topic from the Document Life Workshop.

This was a tough one to write. I have, and always will, strive to keep things on the blog positive. While the subject isn’t very happy, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this hard time. Because it makes the good times (and there are many) so much sweeter.

Blooming Meadows kit by Mandy King

Journaling reads- 

You get to choose your role… 

This is one of the most important things that anyone has ever said to me. It was said by a therapist that we saw in the beginning of our marriage. It was a very hard time for me. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be a good wife and stepmother, without really understanding what that meant. It was incredibly difficult trying to find a place in this family that had already existed before I entered the picture. It was heartbreaking to feel that my stepson and I weren’t “clicking”. Of course I couldn’t blame him, he was only three. So I put all the blame on myself. I drove myself nuts trying to do all the things I thought I “should” do, while not succeeding at any of it. Out of sheer desperation, I sought help from an outside source. After about three sessions she said those magical words that I’ll never forget- “You get to choose”.
You get to choose the kind of role you want to fill in his life. You get to decode how close the two of you will be. You can be another mother, an aunt, or even a friend. Nobody can decide that for you. If anything, you’ve got a pretty good deal. His parents are his parents, they always have to be. But you get to choose your own path. you get to decide what place you want to make for yourself in this new family.
So I chose. I made a conscious decision to take on an “aunt” role. I wouldn’t try to be his mom, he had a perfectly good mother already. My job wasn’t to be a parent. I couldn’t make him love me, or even like me. But I could make sure that the time we had together was not tense and stressful. I could do my best to be a good partner to my husband, and to help him to nurture his relationship with his son. That was my job.
I choose to be the one who does laundry and cooks. I choose to blow bubbles and draw on sidewalks with chalk. I choose to run in the rain and jump in puddles. I choose to make birthday cupcakes and plan surprise parties. I choose to let his parents handle discipline and punishment. I choose to teach him things that are my strengths, and let others teach from theirs.  I choose to take time to myself when I need it, without feeling a shred of parental guilt. I choose to enjoy and relish every single hug and “I love you”.

Those words “You get to choose” were so simple, but so powerful. They really changed my attitude about things. I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to be everything to everyone, and started enjoying things more. Our life when we’re together is so much fun, and I’m so glad I gave myself a break so I could discover that. I choose to focus on the good.

Blooming Meadows by Mandy King

*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.

“Don’t Drink and Scrap” using Cinco de Mayo by Ohana Designs

I got confused on release dates, so I’m a bit behind on blogging LO’s. Messed up dates on my to-do list… grr….

This was such a fun kit! Check out those mustaches, heehee. I used template pieces from the Topsy Turvy Template challenge at SBB. They give you the template pieces and you arrange them however you want. I’ve never done this challenge before, so it was a fun change. Still like it better when the template makers do all the work for me though 🙂

I don’t often drink, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis…. oh wait, that’s my husband…

I should say, I don’t drink often, but when I do, I drink frozen margaritas out of bags. Like Capri Suns for grown ups. Sometimes I put them in glasses and drink them with twisty straws. Just keepin’ it classy as always.

Cinco de Mayo kit and alpha by Ohana Designs

Journaling reads- Whatever you do, don’t drink and scrap.
I miss scrapping with my SDD girls on Sunday nights.

Cinco de Mayo kit and alpha by Ohana Designs
template pieces by Connie Prince

*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.

“Home Is” using Moving Out by Simple Girl Scraps

So isn’t this the cutest little guy? I’m so glad Jason’s mom gave us some pictures of him as a kid! I’m hoping to score a few more when we go visit her this summer.

This is a LO I’ve wanted to make for years. I actually started one with a different kit and picture last year, but I never finished it. I super love Theresa’s military word art, and it gave me a nice jumping off point for journaling. I’m hoping to make a companion page showing all the places they moved when he was little. I did this one for the Template Challenge at Ginger Scraps.

Home Is Where web

Journaling reads- Jason was an Air Force brat. A lot of kids find military life hard, but he really enjoyed moving around the world. It made him resilient and able to deal with change well. And it sparked his love of travel that continues today.

Moving Out kit and Home Is… word art by Simple Girl Scraps
Template by Craftastrophic

*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 <a href=”https://hclappy.wordpress.com/category/ct-layouts/”>here</a&gt;.

“Busy” using Busy Life by Simple Girl Scraps

I wanted this layout to reflect the somewhat chaotic nature of my last job. I love the thought bubbles that say things I heard all day long. There are a couple of little private jokes for myself hidden in here, like the greenery, because I wasn’t allowed to have any king of organic thing in my area. I like that the arrows create movement and sort of direct you from the left hand picture of a huge mess to the cleaner picture taken later that day. I wanted a very busy look, and I don’t think there is much in life that’s busier than polka dots.

Busy web

Journaling reads- 30,000 steps a day, constant interruptions, no time for bathroom, caffeine fueled life at GSMC. 2008-2011.

Credits- A Busy Life elements and kraft papers by Simple Girl Scraps. American Typewriter and Architect’s Daughter fonts.

“Following in Daddy’s Footsteps” using Pinstriped by Inspired by Dominic

Here are two LO’s that I made using Tiff’s Pinstripe Collection. I can’t even tell you how inspired I was by this kit, especially the colors. Both of these stories have been on my “To Scrap” list for a long time.

First up is “Following in Daddy’s Footsteps”. This was a really special story for Jason and I’m so glad I finally scrapped it. The layout design was inspired by this page by Stephanie Howell.

Following in daddy's footsteps web

Journaling reads- In 1977, a very young Jason put his footprints in wet cement at a house in West Virginia. In 2009, [Little Man] visited that house, now belonging to his Grandma Z. It was so special for Jason to see his son standing in the same footprints he made as a child.

(And now that I write that, I realize the date is wrong. This happened in 2010).

Credits: Pinstripe Papers 1 and 2, Pinstriped Wordbits, Pinstriped Elements, Pinstriped Journaling Bits, Pinstriped Mats available here.

The second page, “Favorite Shirt”, was inspired by the Impromptu Challenge at Scrapbook Bytes. The directions were to scrap a favorite piece of clothing using colors/ patterns similar to those in the clothes. I immediately thought of my favorite shirt that the Little Man wears. And it just so happens that the colors in the Pinstripe collection go perfectly.

Favorite Shirt web

Journaling reads- This is my favorite shirt that [Little Man] wears. I love the color and it looks great in pictures, especially when there is greenery involved.. I make sure to ask his mom to pack it every summer when he comes to visit. I’ll be so sad when he grows out of it! March 2013

Credits- Pinstriped Elements, Pinstriped Papers 1, Pinstriped Journaling Mats, Pinstriped Alpha, Pinstriped Mats

Thanks for looking!

Scrapping about food

Today on the Document Workshop, we’re talking all about food!

It’s pretty obvious how much I love talking about food. That’s kind of the point of this blog, or at least one of them. Whether it’s recipes, what we’re having for dinner, or going to food festivals, much of our life revolves around food. So of course I had to join in on this challenge. It was almost more of a challenge to narrow down what I wanted to scrap!

I decided to do a page on our recent trip to the Garlic Festival in Delray.

Lucky 13 template by Mandy KingBless This Mess by Mandy King

Credits: Lucky 13 Templates and Bless This Mess kit by Mandy King. Photos edited in Instagram. The Blue Cabin font.

Thanks for looking 🙂

“Your Home” using My Everything by Mandy King

Mandy has lots of goodies in this month’s Gotta Grab It at Gotta Pixel this weekend. Here’s a LO I made using them. I made it for the Lyrics Challenge at GP.

My Everything by Mandy KingLyrics by Philip Philips

Jason vetoed the super cute pink frame, which is a bummer because I loved it mixed with the silver corners! So I did my usual “put a stroke on it” to frame the pic. This is one of my favorites of him, taken right after he put together these bar stools. I used Pioneer Woman’s free photo actions to get the sepia color. The lyrics are from the Philip Philips song “Home”.