Monday, June 30, 2008

I now believe in fortune cookies!!

So, we very rarely get Chinese food (even though I love it!!) because Tony is not a huge fan. Well, we got it a few days ago, and this was my fortune:

I immediately thought of the Last Scrapper Standing contest and asked Tony if he thought it was a sign :-) Well, guess who found out today that she was one of the newest members of Create My Keepsake's Design Team? Did you figure it out yet, lol? I am so honored and thrilled beyond words right now! Unfortunately, however, two of the current designers left to move on to other things - Raechelle Bellus and Kate O' Brien (they both will be very missed!), and Danielle Flanders will now focus soley on CMK's card kit, so i'm glad she'll still be around! So, that means that besides me, CMK also added Emily Anderson and Shanna Vineyard to the team. Whoo! Did I mention how excited I am to be working amongst CMK's amazing talent? Thanks again to Lisa at CMK for making my fortune cookie come true, hehea!
Now, onto our weekend - it was fabulous! Tony worked on Saturday, so my mom came up to join me and the kids at a birthday celebration for our neighborhood... it turned 40! They had music and free food, and the kids had a blast! Chloe is such a music lover, it's the cutest thing. Every time the band would stop playing for a break, she would start frantically signing (and saying) more. Noah had a blast with one of the beach balls that was being thrown around - that kept him occupied for awhile. They also had free bubbles and 3-D chalk for the kids. And, bad me, I forgot my camera! Luckily, the press was all over the place, and Chloe is supposed to be in our local town paper and Noah is supposed to be in the Baltimore Sun. We'll see if they actually make it in!
On Sunday, we took the kids to the pool for the first time this summer. In our town, we can go to any of the n'hood pools - there are a ton of them. Some have "beach" entries, splash parks, water slides, etc. So, we went to one of the brand new splash parks. It was so much fun! Chloe loved all the ground and overhead water sprayers in the splash park, and Tony and Noah loved the heated pool. We'll definitely be going back to that one. Would you believe I forgot my camera again?? What kind of scrapper am I??
Today we had a playdate at a park - I was intent on keeping myself busy while the judges were deciding on the Last Scrapper Standing, lol. It was another fun day! So, although I don't have pics of our fun weekend events, I did snap some cute ones of the kids being all lovey in Noah's bed over the weekend:

I'm sure this shot will bring back memories for my mom, as I heard I always used to pull my brother's hair, lol!

And, finally, look at what my 18 month old decided she wanted to do the other night?? She has been fascinated with the potty lately when she sees Noah going, and she kept pointing to it. So, I pulled out Noah's old potty seat. She's so little that I doubt she's ready to train, but I think it's cool that she's showing interest. Noah was about the same age when he started casually sitting on the potty.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

I was actually tagged a couple of weeks ago by my dear friend Laurie, but I was a bum and didn't play along (sorry Laurie!). So, when the fabulous and talented Pearl tagged me, I figured there must be something to this tagging thing ;-) So here we go!

Each player answers the questions themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answers.

Ten years ago:
I was getting ready to move across the country to Tucson, Arizona with my boyfriend of 7 months. That boyfriend turned into my husband 4 years later! :-)

Five things on today's "to do list":
Since it is the end of the day, lol, I'll mention tomorrow's to do list! I plan to take the kids to a local music/craft festival, mop my kitchen/hall floor, finish cleaning off my scrap desk, do laundry, and catch up on e-mails.

Snacks I enjoy
Well, chocolate would have to be my number one, of course (I'm addicted to those 60 calorie Hershey chocolate sticks!), but popcorn, fruit and veggie booty are on that list, as well.

Things I would do if I was a millionaire
I would donate a portion of it, set up college funds for the kids, I would give a lot of money to my parents to pay them back for all the years they have spoiled me, take my parents/MIL/bro & SIL on an awesome vacation (with us, of course), buy the fam new houses/cars, etc., buy Tony a Vespa and a boat, quit my part-time job but keep the childcare so I could have a couple of full days alone to scrap, get a weekly massage. Gosh, I think this list could go on forever, but those things are all sounding really awesome right now.

Places I have lived
Besides my home (and current) state of Maryland, I have lived in Connecticut, Australia and Arizona.

I am tagging

All of these women do incredible work, so please check them out!

ETA a big thank you to Jen Sue for teaching my computer illiterate self how to link with the name instead of having to type out the URL. I can't believe how easy that was!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phew - i'm done!!

Well, I finished my layout for the final round of the Last Scrapper Standing contest at Create My Keepsake, and now I just sit and wait until Monday. Ack, that's the hard part, lol!! I'm so excited b/c my layout was chosen (thanks Dani!!) for layout of the day today over there! :-) So, I just knew that the challenge that seemed the "easiest" to me would prove to be the hardest! I struggled with this at the beginning and ended up giving up on my original idea. I am pleased with the end result, though. I am not holding out hopes of being the winner as I know the competition is fierce, but i'm so honored and excited to have made it this far! Anyway, here it is:

The first circle around the photo is made up of flocked dots that I handcut from Heidi Grace pp. The outside edging is handstitched and beaded. I stickled the centers of the circular paper frills, and I added a tiny bit of machine stitching around one of the circles. The photo corner is made up of circles with some beading in the center. PP is MM, Love Elsie, Heidi Grace; transparency is Hambly; letters are Thickers; scalloped circle from every jot & tittle, button is MM and heart is fancy pants (that I added tim holtz distressing powder to). This was SOO much fun to do and ended up being my favorite challenge yet! I also got to use one of my very favorite wedding photos of me and Tony :-)

So, I read that Memory Maker's Annual Reader's Idea Gallery will hit newstands on July 8th. I'm so excited about this because not only do I love their Idea Galleries and buy them every year, but this issue will have two of my layouts in - my very first time being published!! Can't wait to receive it :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

The final round!

So, I just found out that I made it to the final round of the "Last Scrapper Standing" contest at Create My Keepsake! I'm shocked that I've made it this far, and I'm totally honored to be amongst these talented ladies. All of the projects that the Top 20 did for this last round were AMAZING, so i'm sure it was an agonizing decision for those judges!

It's now down to 10 of us, and our challenge for this final round is: We want to see what you can create using circles….such as polka dot paper, circle journaling spots, stamps with circles or dots, circular embellishments, heck, you can PAINT circles for all we care! Just make sure your layout consists of mainly CIRCLES!!!

I'm super excited about this as some of you may have noticed that I have a thing for circles :-) I often use circles on my layouts, so this is right up my alley. Of course, since this is something familiar for me, it will probably be my most difficult assignment yet, lol. I am pretty sure I know what I want to scrap and have some general ideas bouncing around in my head, so now I need to execute it!

The Father's Day BBQ at my friend Lisa's parents house was lots of fun on Saturday! The kids had a blast - they pretty much skipped naps that day (Chloe did take a short one in the morning), so after a day of sun and swimming, they crashed the second we got in the car to leave. By the time we got home at 7:30, we carried them both upstairs and they were out for the night! So, of course I took lots of pics :-) Here are some of my favs of the kids (and my niece makes a guest appearance in one with Noah):

Well, it's a good thing my daughter is cute because she kept me up ALL NIGHT last night! I don't know what the problem was! She's not sick, although she was a little congested from a small cold she picked up. She's also perpetually teething (she is finally getting her 5th tooth at 18 months old - she's the slowest teether in the world!), so that may have been part of it, too. She went to sleep at 7 and woke at 10, and then from 10 on, she was up. And I mean up! She wasn't cranky either, she was wide awake, laughing and playful! Which, of course, in my frustrated and exhausted state, was annoying me more, lol. Finally, at 2 am, I did something that i've never done before in the almost 4 years that i've been a mommy. I strapped her in her carseat and went for a drive. Since I could not get the child to fall asleep (and she certainly wasn't doing it on her own last night), I figured I needed some motion assistance. It took my stubborn child almost 30 minutes of me driving around to finally fall asleep, as she was a little chatterbox for the first 25! She finally fell asleep hard, and I transferred her to her crib. Only to have her wake again 30 minutes later! At this point, my mommy patience had worn veeeeery thin, so Tony got up and after awhile, managed to get her back to sleep. And the stinker still woke up at 6:30 this morning! Can we say early bedtime tonight?!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

The difference between mothers and fathers

So, Noah has been potty trained for over a year now, however, he still has worn pull-ups at night due to the occasional overnight accident. Until a week ago, anyway, when he decided that he didn't need them anymore and would be fine in his undies. Well, he has done great this week... until last night. We were woken at 4am to him crying, so Tony went into his room to see what was wrong. A second later, Chloe started crying as she was woken by her brother. So, I went into her room. We both collapse into our bed about 10 minutes later, and I asked Tony if Noah had peed in his bed. He said yes, so I asked, "You changed the sheets, right?" His response: "Well, it wasn't that much pee, barely any... So I just put a towel down on the bed. He'll be fine." Um, ok. Apparantly that is a man's way of thinking for you. So, guess who changed Noah's sheets first thing this morning?

I did the coolest thing last night - I got to go into a chat room with Karen Russell! Michelle, the owner of A Million Memories, arranged for the chat, and it was so much fun! I got there late, unfortunately since Noah took forever to go to bed, but it was really cool. She was so sweet and cool and gave us lots of photography tips. I totally want to take one of her photography classes now ( Anyway, thanks again to Michelle at AMM for setting that up - it was way cool!

I also managed to start and finish a layout last night (I'm getting faster, whoo! lol) about my little man. These photos were taken last October, so he had just turned 3 then. Love these shots!

I had fun playing with new Chatterbox paper and embellies, as well as a new Fancy Pants transparency. And I pulled out this Jenni Bowlin pp which I have been dying to use. Journaling reads: Playing outside is one of your favorite things to do, especially since you have so many friends in the neighborhood. It never gets old!

Happy weekend everyone! We're off to a bbq in a little...

Friday, June 20, 2008


So, I finished my assignment for Challenge #2 last night for the Last Scrapper Standing contest at CMK - the assignment was to find a fun, cute, catchy t-shirt slogan and make a card or altered item using it as your title, or somewhere on the project. I altered a display box I had and turned it into a dimensional frame. As soon as I saw the t-shirt with the phrase, "Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts", I immediately thought of this photo taken of us making silly faces. Now onto the waiting stage to find out if I made the cut for the next round, in which the top 20 is cut to the top 10 for the final challenge before the new DT member is chosen. Fun stuff :-) We've had a super busy week! It's been beautiful out, so we've had lots of outdoor time. Tuesday we got together with our next door neighbors to go to a nearby park. Yesterday we went to the zoo with some friends, and today we went to the local petting zoo with some other friends - yes, we've seen a lot of animals this week! Tomorrow we are heading out to my good friends' parents house for the Annual Father's Day BBQ - i've been going since I was in the 8th grade (with the exception of a few years i've missed)! I hope everyone is having a great week and having as nice weather as we are having here in Maryland!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Onto Round 2...

I just found out that I made it onto Round 2 for the Last Scrapper Standing Contest at CMK - whoo! There are now 20 of us, and after this round ends next Sunday night, they'll cut it down to 10. Our challenge is this: Find a fun, cute, catchy t-shirt slogan and make a card or altered item using it as your title, or somewhere on the project. This will definitely be a challenge for me, but I do love me a good challenge :-) Congrats to everyone who entered and the rest of the top 20 - there is some amazing talent on that site!

I completed one more LO for my Luxe DT work, and then I did a LO for a contest at AMM, too. Also a ton of talent over there that i'm up against, but I had a ton of fun making this LO and mixing together lots of CI goodies!
Journaling reads: Chloe, these photos show your personality perfectly! It's not uncommon for you to go from feisty and playful to drama queen who wants things her way, and this photo shoot was no exception. You were having tons of fun with your favorite instruments, and then, without warning, you were done!!

So, happy belated Father's Day to any father's who read my blog (which is probably none, as I don't think there are any men who stop by here, lol). We had a great day in the Taylor home. We met my other two favorite fathers (my dad and my brother) for brunch, along with the rest of the fam. We went to this really nice restaurant in Old Town Ellicott City - they even had live jazz music playing. After we ate, we walked the streets and checked out "the bubble man" - he has all sorts of bubble blowers from baby blowers to huge bubble blowers. He kept the kids entertained for awhile! We went home for naptime, and then the kids played outside with their Crayola inflatable chalkboard for awhile. Tony and I ended the evening trying out one of his new Father's Day presents - a margarita machine (we're hooked on strawberry margies!) while watching his Celtics lose :-(
Hope everyone else had a great weekend, too!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anyone hungry?

I did this LO last night for the first Challenge round for Create My Keepsake's "Last Scrapper Standing" contest. This round ends Sunday night, and they will narrow the contestants down to 20. Those 20 move on to Challenge round 2, which then gets narrowed down to 10. From that 10, they will pick one person to join their design team. Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, the challenge was to scrap your "weakness" - something that you go crazy for. I think my biggest "weakness" is my scrapping and scrap shopping addiction, but I wanted to do something non-scrap related. Which for me, is my next favorite thing... food :-) Journaling reads (which is around the photos): There is no question that I love food. When it comes to favorites, however, sushi is definitely my weakness! I could eat it every day and not get sick of it. My girlfriends even threw my bridal shower at a sushi restaurant. Now, if only I could convince Tony to eat it, too!

So, it's still hot here, but today wasn't as bad. Yesterday, Lisa (next door) and I set up our brand new sprinkler for the kids to play in, and they had a blast. Well, Chloe wasn't a huge fan of the cold water being sprayed on her, but she warmed up to the fun as we went on. She also adores Kaylee, and she was having a blast playing peek-a-boo and "tickle, tickle, tickle" (what Noah says when he tickles us) with her friend. And, of course, the two love birds Noah and Savannah always have fun together. Noah is even referring to her now as "my girlfriend"!

I worked today and Tony stayed home with the kids like he normally does on Wednesdays. Well, both the kiddos seem to have come down with something. Chloe started feeling under the weather later in the day yesterday, and she was "off" all day today with a bit of a temperature. When Noah woke from his nap, he had spots all over his belly and back! Tony was worried about chicken pox, so he called our pediatrician. The doc said they were both vaccinated, so if it is Chicken Pox, it should only be a small case of it. He said to keep an eye on it and see what happens tomorrow. He seems to be feeling just fine, though, and isn't itchy, so it could be something else, too. Tomorrow will tell! I'm off to go collapse into my bed - good night!

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's hoooooooot!

It's over 100 degrees here! I expected that when Tony and I lived in Tucson, but mid-June in Maryland? Not so much! Needless to say, we haven't gotten to play outside in a couple of days since not only is it hot, but the air quality is poor. The poor kids are jonesing for some sunshine! Before the heat set in, we did get to have our first cookout on our brand new deck with our brand new grill :-) The kids even have their own little picnic table. So, since I don't have any new layouts to share (I have been busy, I promise, but I can't show you my Luxe DT work yet!), I figured i'd overload you with pictures!

First cookout of the season:

The kids having fun at my nephew's birthday party this weekend:

Tony had to work yesterday, and the kids and I had no plans for the first time in a long time! So, we took advantage of our relaxed schedule and deemed it a movie/hang-out day. The kids had fun lounging on their bean bags with their individual bowls of veggie booty (I told them it was the next best thing to popcorn, lol, since Chloe is too young for it still):
After movie time, the kids wanted to play in Noah's bed. They were so snuggly with each other, it was melting my heart! Noah even said to me, "Mommy, we are so cute. You need to go get your camera." Hhehea, can you tell he is a scrapbooker's son?? I have to admit that I was a little nervous about them being fairly close in age (they are 26 months apart), but I love this age difference! Although they annoy each other at times (usually over toy sharing or lack of!), they are so close and have so much fun together. I hope it lasts!!

Lastly, in scrappy news, I have a link to share. I've seen this on a couple of different sites today, so it may be old news by now, but for those who haven't seen it, it's pretty cool! You can upload a photo and it will choose the best color palette for you to use with your cardstock, pp's etc.

Happy Monday everyone!