2010 Another Year In The Books

I can not believe this year is over. It really does seem to have just flown by. I have no idea with most of this year other than I know it was a roller coaster.

It ends on a bit of a low note. I am sick in bed with laryngitis and a nasty cold and we are still waiting on the final results from the myriad of Dr's P has seen in the last 2 weeks.

On the bright side I am starting my new years with scrapbooking and friends to set the tone for the year!

Here are some highlights from 2010:

Jan: kick off Who's that girl Design team. It really pushed me to create something every month!

Feb: Kim's visit to Atlanta, I get to see some of DaVinci's work in person, New lights and outlets = no more cold dark studio!, Lots and lots of scrapbooking!

Mar: Winning a GDT spot on Scrap Freak, Buying a Kindle,
Alice in Wonderland in 3d, Fiddler on the Roof in a theater, nasty fall down the stairs

April: First trip of the year to see my family! This time off to PA to visit at moms house and celebrate Easter. Kristopher has a buzz cut and gone are the little boy days!

May: Blythe Break is officially over! our 7th wedding anniversary

June: Off to Maine to celebrate Alek's birthday and spend even more time with the kiddos. I make a vow to see them at least 3x a year if not more!

July: Annual 4th of July get together with the inlaws (Patirck is almost as tall as Paul!), midnight showing for Eclipse with Blythe in tow!

Aug: A super hot summer, lots of Blythe meets!

Sept: Lots of Blythe fun, Went to japanfest and it made me realize how much i miss Shinkendo. Several new girls including my first "investment doll"

Oct: Back to Maine for the final trip of the year. I feel like the boys finally remember me one visit to the next

Nov: I turn 38. Yellow River Game ranch trip, birthday crop, I start "running"!!! and Les Miz turns 25.

Dec: Fun with friends who treat me like family, bonding with Bella, a flexible work schedule!

So there it is just a brief recap :) See y'all next year!

Some Success, Some Failures and some Exciting Scrappy News!

Just a quick recap of what Ive been doing:

Im still "running" and training for the Couch to 5k. Though I had to restart week 1 this week. I got midway through week 2 but had too much knee/shin pain so I am going back and starting over. I did most of my running outside but now that it's below 30 when I get home at night Im running on my treadmill in the garage; which while cold is still much warmer than outside. I am counting this a victory as other than missing one run in 3 weeks due to injury I have kept at it. I still suck but I am doing it.

I finished all the journaling on my Daily Gratitude journal for November. Now i just need to put it all together.

I am working on a December Daily. I am not actually putting anything in the album yet as I find it easier to take pics and do my journaling every day and then actually put it all together at the end.

I totally failed at my dolly 365. my camera battery and card reader died at the same time right around day 12. I know I suck. This is my third attempt and third failure. My life just doesn't allow me to do this right now. Maybe if I get a new itouch for Christmas so I can take pics on the go it might be different.

And the exciting news! ScrapFreak is closing (I know Im soooo sad) Jess and I decided to make a scrapbook challenge forum and combine the best of the freak with the best of WTG! so coming this week Ill be at Creative Soup! I invite everyone to come join us. Right now we are just chatting and getting to know one another and might have one mini challenge before things kick off in Jan.

I hope to see some of you there!

So Im going to try this 365 thing again!

ABAD 3b:365, originally uploaded by *redmara*.

Some people do this project picking just one doll to photograph all year. I have too many of them and would feel bad leaving most of them out all year.

So I started on Saturday (I would have started on my birthday but with the flood and all I had no computer till Sat). This is day 3 but I just wanted to share. Ill be posting pics here and there as I take them.

Observations of a fat girl...

Ive been overweight most of my life (I had a 3 year skinny period from the age of 23-26). I have struggled with eating disorders, and just regular bad eating habits. Im also a super picky eater and love nothing more than sitting on the couch reading a good book (or eating a tub of ice cream).

Last year my DH showed me this IMAGE of a body scan comparing a 250lb woman to a 120lb woman (warning it's pretty graphic). It did actually scare the living crap out of me. So on Jan first we went on a diet together. I started going to Zumba and watching what I ate. I did really really well for 3 months then pretty much stopped.

I started back up in Oct and to date Ive lost ~25lbs this year.

Which is great.

And soooo not enough. Im still considered morbidly obese. So I started really paying attention to skinny people. Most of them do one or all of these things: They eat yogurt for snacks, they do pilates or yoga and almost every single one of them run.

I hate yogurt, I can't touch my toes, but I figure even my 2 year old nephew can run so I figured, no more excuses. Im going to do it. Bad knees and all. It aint going to be pretty but luckily it gets dark early so hopefully I won't scare too many of my neighbors.

Im doing the couch to 5k program with the goal of actually running in a 5k this spring. The goal isn't to win or even to run super fast, I just want to finish.

So there I said it out loud. In public. So Im accountable.

I started tonight. Its 55 and drizzling and I did it. I went out and did the first days program (28 minutes of exercise 8 minutes of that is running).

And you know what. It felt pretty good

Oh and a huge thanks to La for sharing her super inspirational journey! If I can be half as dedicated as she is I will consider this a success

Thanks for letting me share.

TILT 19 - Poppys for Remembrance Day

In honor of Remembrance/Veteran's day 11/11. Thank you to all of the men and women around the world who have given their lives in defense of country!

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

--"In Flanders Fields" John McCrae


My good friend and endless source of inspiration jessica*bree is hosting a give-away for a FREE Scrapfreak kit!!! These kits are totally awesome and this challenge is super easy with lots of options on getting an entry to win!

Check out her blog for details on how to win (including the super easy option of just reposting this to your own blog!)

WTG - 16 At Bat

This challenge was to pick out a theme song. Something we identify with or has some meaning to us. I have always loved this song as sort of a personal anthem (though Im trying to loose weight again so hopefully Ill be a smaller fat bottomed girl soon!)

Here's the prompt:
At Bat - I remember my first live baseball game (The Braves here in Atlanta) and I was confused by the short snippets of songs they played as each player came out to bat... until my friend explained its the song the player chose as "his". My favorite radio morning show here in Atlanta does the same thing... when certain people make an appearance on the show, they play their "song" to introduce them. Some of the choices are obvious (like "Jessica Shops", a segment on the best deals in town, is a song related to shopping), while others are more about the attitude or vibe of the song. This WTG challenge is a bit more creative than some! Choose your at bat song so to speak and tell us why. It can a song that fits how you feel about life right now, a song that speaks to you deeply, or the song that in your fantasy world would play every time you walked into a room.

And My take on it:

Bad Blogger

Ok so I have been super bad about blogging. Ive had like zero scrap mojo but i have been doing some dolly photography (check out my flickr if you want to see more). Im getting much better I think :)

We have also been talking about redoing the kitchen and living room. Nothing fancy (ie: expensive) just some paint and some more storage for the living room. Im mainly tired of living in a black and white environment and am feeling a little starved for color.

So thats it. Ill be posting TILT and WTG stuff too.

WTG - 12 Imperfect

Sorry this is so late. The challenge posted while I was on vacation and I totally forgot to add it to my blog when I got back. Check out the other amazing layouts the DT did HERE.

Another great prompt this week!
None of us are perfect. We all have traits or habits were are less than proud of - things that we do that we try to stop doing or cringe to look back on! Document something about you that you sometimes wish you could change, big or small.

TILT 3 Things i Love Thursday ( ok so Im a day late posting)

I did actually have the mosaic up and posted to the Flickr group on time!
This week I chose Teal (the color) as the thing I love. Lately I have just found myself drawn to this color and am seriously debating painting my studio this color. Its just such a great color!

TILT 2 Things I Love Thursday

I found this cool Meme on Flickr (The first one I did was Owls and you can see it below). I thought I would try to keep the trend of adding Blythe in the middle photo.

So here for this week is my Things I Love Thursday...GNOMES!!!

And TILT 1 Owls

Ive' missed my girls!

My Dolly Family As of May 15th, originally uploaded by *redmara*.

I took a bit of a dolly break at the middle of February. Pretty much right after I got done with Perrin the traveling Blythe. I think I was just overwhelmed and had a couple of things go wrong with some customs. Nothing major just enough that it did me in. Plus it was raining pretty much non staop back then.

So I stepped back and worked on other things (no not house work silly....Scrapbooking!)

But those little faces kept staring at me and finally I gave in. I dressed them all last night and took a picture of each of them. I had some new girls I had never taken a single photo of :( I know! bad dolly mama.

So Im back and going to take it slow. not do any crazy 365 or even a doll a week groups. So far so good :)

Vacation + Scrapping Trip =

Lots and Lots of layouts to share :)

Monday Daybook Anniversary Edition

FOR TODAY… May 10, 2010 My 7th Wedding Anniversary!

Outside my window… Just a stunningly beautiful day. 62 and sunny on it’s way up to72.

I am thinking… how this year marks the year where P & I have now been married longer than we were together prior to that.

I am thankful for… P. For all of our problems I really do love this man.

I am wearing… a new dress. White with aqua and green polka dots, sleeveless and a size 16W!! A green wrap and brown boots.

I am remembering… having my dad walk me down the beach getting ready to be married. It was another perfect day much like today.

I am going… to PF Chang’s tonight. One of our fav’s!

I am currently reading… Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. I just love this little sociopath!

I am hoping… for a paycheck.

On my mind… family. Family that is gone, family that is far away, family that is not of my blood, and family that I have never met.

Noticing that… I am feeling super creative lately. I am thinking about trying out for Scrap Freak’s design team.

Pondering these words… In sickness and in health.

From the kitchen… tonight PF Changs- this week all sorts of goodies from the grill.

Around the house… slow but steady progress. At least most of the laundry is washed if not put up.

One of my favorite things… lazy weekends spent just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

ScrapFreak's May Embellishment Kit is here!!!

I won a spot to be a guest design team member and help showcase this kit.
The kits are now available for purchase HERE

So I can finally show you the projects i did for this.

FOR TODAY… April 26, 2010

Outside my window… MUCH cooler high of only 65. Some clouds but other wise a really beautiful breezy spring day.

I am thinking… that Friday cannot get here fast enough. I NEED this long weekend scrappin with the girls. It seems like it has been forever since we have all managed to be together.

I am thankful for… a paycheck.

I am wearing… green puffy blouse, jeans and black ballet flats. And carrying my new Liberty of London Flower print bag. Its huge, its gorgeous, and it’s a messenger bag. Oh and it’s sold out almost everywhere. Im so glad I found one!

I am remembering… the nice slow paced birthday weekend we had for P. It was so nice just to hang out without any plans or pressure to do anything else.

I am going… to be so uber prepared for this cabin trip! Ive got 20 page kits made up and still need to pull together some WTG stuff.

I am currently reading… just finished Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (well ok I finished Thursday after it came out last Tuesday) It was really good. Now Im trying to power through the Sookie series to prep for next Tuesday’s release of Dead in the Family.

I am hoping… that I can get back into my healthy mindset soon.

On my mind… The lbs I’ve gained back. I know. I suck. Well not really I’ve just been a real slacker and can’t believe I’ve lost some of my progress. I just need to buckle down and get back to the program.

Noticing that… Even with the few lbs gained back I still feel better about myself. I even bought green nailpolish to do my toes before the cabin!

Pondering these words… pay hiatus L

From the kitchen… a giant salad. Must be healthier!

Around the house… still a big mess but I HAVE to get some laundry done.

One of my favorite things… Zumba. I made it through a 3 hour Zumbathon on Friday and felt fantastic and very proud (Virginia and I were only 2 of 3 people that made it all the way through!) I’ve got my ipod cranked with all sorts of Zumba music to inspire me to move more.

From my picture journal… I just LOVE this bag!!!

Scrap Spam.

Scrap Freak Guest Design Team

A while ago I entered a contest on scrapfreak and won the honor of being a guest design team member for their new embellishment kit club! They had a wildly successful first kit (which you can still snag one here and their second kit will be available on April 25th.

Here are some sneak peeks of my projects:

I hope you like them and do check out the other sneak peaks on the freak!

Monday Daybook - Post Vacation Edition

FOR TODAY… April 19, 2010

Outside my window… sunny and cooler today. Its still super pollen-ey. I can’t wait for the rain to start!

I am thinking… about page kits I need to prep.

I am thankful for… coworkers who will buy you coffee.

I am wearing… jeans and my teal v neck top and ballet flats.

I am remembering… my time in PA. I miss my family super much. I know I say that everytime I see them but it’s true.

I am going… home and starting my packing for the cabin trip in 2 weeks!

I am currently reading… nothing. Just finished Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. Can’t wait for the next book to come out tomorrow!!!

I am hoping… for Rain. Pollen sux.

On my mind… Haley who just lost her dad this past weekend.

Noticing that… I’m getting better at scrapbooking now that I’ve been doing a little almost every night this month.

Pondering these words… pay hiatus L

From the kitchen… no idea. P and I are fending for ourselves this month.

Around the house… a giant mess since Im on stay-cation. And I just can’t find it in me to care. lol

One of my favorite things… Latisse. Yes it’s vain but after only a month I think Im starting to see some changes!

From my picture journal…

WTG #7 Right Now

WTG- Right Now.

For this challenge we had to use a sketch from Diana's Sketchy Thursday blog as well as our usual journaling prompt. I love me some sketches so I had a blast. And because I had sooo much I wanted to capture about my life right now I did a mini album. Using the sketch as a template made the job much less daunting and I LOVE how it turned out. (I still need to take and add a pic to the cover but it's actually all done other than that which is HUGE for me. lol)

Journaling Prompt:

Right Now - while the core of who you are doesn't change, I find that my interests and activities tend to evolve from one year to the next. Take a moment to capture the things you are into RIGHT NOW.

Entertainment: Favorite TV shows, music, movies, websites
Tastes: Foods and drinks you are into right now, clothing styles, products, brands
Activities: Crafts you are working on, hobbies, interests, new routines or habits

(Try for at least 5 different facts about yourself right now! I find a list can work great but its totally your call!)

WTG #6 Distinguishing Features

WTG #6 Distinguishing features

We all have those features that are a part of us. Something about us physically or visually that is a "distinguishing feature". Something that is part of your look. I can be a unique birthmark (like me), a great smile, your hair, the way you dress, your glasses, your red
toe nails, etc. But little things that are "you". The things that others see, and without it, you would not quite be you. You can do just ONE thing or a SEVERAL.

I of course picked my hair. While I get tempted to cut it short (or at least shorter) I don't think I ever could it is soo my most distinguishing feature!

journaling reads:

Only 1% of the population has red hair. Of tha1% even fewer people have my shade of orange. That's right orange. Not red, not copper not strawberry blonde- orange. I used to hate being the only one with my hair color. I was teased all the time for it. Somewhere around the end of HS/college I learned to love my hair color. Now that its more than half way down my back it certainly has become my distinguishing feature. Mara the proud Orangehead.

Busy Busy Busy

Ill post my daybook entry in a bit but I wanted to get to the update stuff first.

I have been on staycation which means 2 things:
1. Ive gotten a ton of scrapping done
and 2. I got to see my family!!!!!

I spent a glorious 5 days (wish it could have been longer) visiting with my mom, aunt, brother SIL and the nephews. I had an absolute blast seeing everyone. I am going to try to get up to visit them in Maine at least once more (though Id love to go 2x).

And so I have been totally slacking on the blogging thing. I missed posting several WTG entries and Ive got a ton of new stuff to share. PLUS I am honored to be the guest designer for ScrapFreak's May embellishment kit. I can't post my stuff yet but Ill post sneak peaks in a bit.

Ok so enough chatter. Here are some vacation pics (Ill do scrappy stuff later)

First up Kris. He got a crew cut so he could have "dot" hair like his daddy (who has a shaved head. Boy does he look grown up. No more little boy. He is totally a KID now. A really fun, slightly moody, very sensitive, aunt and gaga loving kid! (Though he certainly didn't mind me carrying all 40lbs of him for hours on end at the zoo!) He is in total HAM mode so it was super hard this trip to get a decent shot of him. I also spent more time enjoying time with the family instead of trying to get a thousand pictures

Next up my little bundle of happiness: Noah. He is usually such a happy little baby (and yes hes still a baby!) 16 months and not yet walking though he stands and will cruise and does this amazing scooting thing that just blew my mind. Whatever works right??? (the las t picture of Noah and I together was taken by Kris who has become quite the little photographer!

I had sooo much fun with the kiddos (and my mom and aunt too!) I can't wait to see them again!