Welcome to my blog! I love taking photos - and I love sharing said photos!
So sit back and enjoy a small glimpse into the life of me! :D

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 172 -- Outdoor Cat

Guess what? Kallie finally pissed me off for the last time and she is now an outdoor cat! And no - it wasn't another dead animal (or a live one for that matter) that did it. Nope - that stupid fricking cat sprayed all over the house while we slept! OMG! That smell is frigging repulsive! I mean - it's horrid when I'm smoking. But now that my nose has the ability to smell like a non-smoker ... UGH - it's nauseating! She sprayed on the couch where she sleeps and in by her food and litter box! The food and litter box area I can clean - but the dang couch!? Lucky for her I have other cushions for it. In fact - the cushions we were using went to our old couch. I liked them because they fit and were firmer then the ones that were supposed to go to this couch. But I know what it's like to clean cushions (um - fricking impossible!) and I know what it's like to get the cat spray out (um - again - fricking impossible!). So, I threw out the litter, put the food outside, threw the old cushions out and put on the original ones, and closed the dang cat door for good! I'm SO done with that cat! I'll keep feeding her, but that's it! UGH!!

Oh - and to any animal lovers out there thinking I should give her a 2nd chance - this was her last chance. She's had about 3 or 4 chances now. She screwed up when she sprayed (and I couldn't care less if it's a natural thing for her - it's my house and she's not welcome in it anymore).

On a completely random side note - I finished the last episode of Stargate Atlantis today. And while I'm still saddened by what they did with some characters (I went on a venting spell in THIS post) I'm glad I stuck it through to the end. The last two seasons weren't completely horrible, and I'm happy to have experienced them :) And even though I'm REALLY sad that I finished all the episodes (meaning SG1 and Atlantis both) I'm thrilled that the new Stargate Universe is on right now! I kinda wish it was done so I could watch that one back to back like I did with the others, but that's okay, lol. I'll deal with waiting week to week - season to season. Let's just hope it can stay alive for seasons to come! I'm really loving the whole Stargate "universe" (for lack of a better term, lol) - it's an entertaining world, that's for sure!

Day 171 -- Cuddle Time

I can't believe it - but I've scrapped AGAIN! And this one ... well, this one came from somewhere very private in me. I'm a little shy about putting myself out there so much, but I have to say that all the comments I've been receiving in the galleries that I posted at - the comments have been SO supportive and encouraging! So...yeah, I guess I'm glad I posted it for all to see & read! But first - today's photo.

As I was working on my layout, I would often take a break here or there to just kinda take a breather and make sure I was happy where I was going with it (this used to be my smoke break where I would smoke and stare at it - seeing if I wanted to try something different. Now I just turn my chair around and look in the living room - letting my mind empty out so I can turn back and see it with fresh eyes). Well - I turned around and saw Daddy & Liam snuggling all cute and stuff - and I had to grab a photo :)

And as promised - here's my layout. This layout was VERY therapeutic! I've been trying to find some sort of help for someone like me (ie: no health insurance and therefore no doctor to write a prescription for me). This layout just made me that much more determined to get back on my meds one way or another. Hopefully - soon I'll be able to get stuff figured out and I'll finally find that elusive thing called happiness :)

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

Day 170 -- Blooming Beauty

I have some awesome, yay me! news - I've been plugging away on my garage sale organizing - and I got one side of the truck completely done!! Now I have a place that I can stack boxes of stuff for the garage sale. So I can look in there and say - everything right there is gone. Either cuz I sell it in the garage sale, or take it to Value Village afterwards - one way or another, this stuff is gone :) It feels SO liberating getting rid of so much junk!

Today's photo, however, is far from junk. For mother's day, I got a flower from Connor. He actually grew this at school from a seed!! Last years flower lasted for-EV-er, and was more ... flowery. This one look a LOT more weedy, but oh well, lol. Anyhoo - it bloomed really pretty and I grabbed a photo to share :) Don't mind the butter tub that it's in - it's better than the weird sand/rock thing they put flowers in last year, lol.

Day 169 -- Resourcefulness Is My Middle Name

I finally did something I've had on my to-do list since we moved in!

During our move, I did a crazy good job cramming as much of our stuff into our moving truck as I could. No spot was left un-crammed! And that meant all the shelves and furniture were used as well. That worked great - except for one shelf. It wasn't a really nice shelf, and apparently - it wasn't very sturdy either, lol. The weight from the boxes caused the top of it to cave it (not sure how else to describe it. It wasn't a shelf - but the top of the whole shelving unit - that broke. It was pushed down until it snapped and broke. There was no fixing it, and besides - I didn't have room for it in this tiny house anyways, lol).

Anyhoo - this broken shelf has been chilling along the side of the house since I dragged it out of the moving truck. With no fireplace, I wasn't sure what to do with it.

In another part of the Moody house, lol - Liam had a cheapie little shelf that always had to be secured to the wall in order to keep it upright and level. It was just two levels - and it liked to move from side to side. Boys are kinda tuff on furniture, so I would secure it to the wall to keep it in place.

Okay - this post is taking WAY too long, lol. Lets finish up by saying I took the back paper part on the broken shelf. Cut it out to fit on the wobbly shelf. Reused the nails that didn't get too bent and nailed it to the back of the wobbly shelf. And we now have one firmly upright and leveled shelf!

Not too shabby if I say so myself!!

OH! My scrapping has kinda taken off!! I'm not really sure why (maybe it's cuz I was so disappointed in my last couple layouts) but I really needed to get a new favorite under my belt. And I think I did it - cuz I just LOVE how this one turned out!!

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

Day 168 -- Leaning Tower of Liam

I scrapped today! I had to force myself to do this one too - but instead of rushing things like I did with THIS layout (both this layout and the one there were done for the same designer), I made myself really dig into the kit and produce something that really feels like my sort of layout. I don't necessarily love this one -- but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

I really like the shadowing on this one. And it was a template that I moved around quite a bit - so I really love the final composition that I ended up using....Sorry, lol - I guess I'm just trying to find things I do like about it since there's still something that bothers me about it.... :)

Today's photo was a sweet little moment of Liam playing with Connor's blocks. I was actually really proud of how many blocks he was able to balance - all on his own. The photo below is (obviously) right before his little tower fell (and then afterwards, it was all about knocking it down and not building it up, lol - boys!). So here's today's photo :)

Day 167 -- New View

And the race is on! It's time to really gear down and get my garage sale going. Having no garage means I don't have any place to move stuff around for organizing purposes - so it's gonna be tricky. Moving the truck was step one. Step two is getting everything out of the truck that I plan to keep. Easier said than done, lol.

However - moving the truck has made me feel LOTS more vunurable. Why, you ask :) Well - I'm SO used to stepping outside and having a good chunk of my view taken up by a giant white moving truck. Now when I step out - I get this:

I feel so exposed, lol. I do feel weird - but it's kinda nice at the same time. Now when someone drives by - and I wanna see them - I can look out the window and actually see them (it got a little frustrating when I couldn't see around the moving truck to see what was making a noise).

So yep - it's a new view. And it's time to get busy! Wish me luck - I have LOTS of work ahead of me before I finally do my first ever garage sale! :) See you tomorrow! XoXo!! :D

Day 166 -- Movie Time

Someone shared the most beautiful, touching video on Facebook today, and I just had to share it here. Even if I only share it so that I can watch it whenever I want - I just have to keep a URL for it somewhere, somehow. I'm not sure if you'll be able to watch it without having a Facebook profile - but if you've got one, this is a MUST watch! (And just to assure you that it's not anything messed up - the video is of a little baby hearing with a hearing aid thing for the very first time. It's SO moving!!)


Today's photo was one I grabbed real quick because Lyndsay is working on a TV/Movie kit. I realized I had nothing to use, so I grabbed a photo of the boys watching TV and fell in love with it. It's SO rare that things in this house are THIS calm, lol:

That's all for today!! See you tomorrow! XoXo!! :D

Day 165 -- Layout of the Week

I here tell that Mondays are supposed to suck. And yet I find myself having pretty awesome Mondays. It's a fresh start. I get my days back and my quiet house back when Tom goes back to work. I woke up to some fantastic news - so let me share :)

I got an email from Log Your Memory asking me if they could publish my Out Takes layout! Not only that - but that layout will be entered into a contest and one person chosen for this month will get a copy of the book (the book that my layout will be published in) for free! Oh I'm SO happy!! This is a HUGE first for me, and I'm beyond thrilled.

After that, I log into my Facebook to catch up on anything I missed while I was sleeping (lmao - yes, I'm THAT obsessed with my social networking, lol - sad, ain't it, lol). Well, I then see a bunch of "Congrats Jen" from some scrapping friends and I learn that I was randomly chosen to win a gift card from Shabby Miss Jenn. I was expecting the average $5 or $6 (the price of most scrap kits) and was just floored when I saw it was worth $15! Wow - Jenn is AWESOME! I knew I loved her for a reason, lol.

You might be thinking I'm done with the good news - but I'm not!! After some time, I finally make my way over to Sweet Shoppe to check up on my CT stuff and see what's new. I see that someone had posted a topic about the new layout of the week, and I click the link to go see who had been chosen. I have to say my jaw just dropped when I saw MYYYYY layout!!

That's today's photo - it's of my winning (not only did I win the honor of being chosen, but I also got a $7 gift certificate! I love winning stuff!!)

And if you're curious - here's the actual blog post http://sweetshoppedesigns.com/blog/?p=4155

Oh - before I leave - no, my day wasn't completely perfect. Kallie is getting on my LAST nerves! That stupid cat brought a dead bird into the house today! Oh. Em. EFFING Gee!!! Yeah - I'm pissed, can't you tell, lol. I tried to get her to pick it up and take it out, but she would NOT do it. So I threw the bird away (outside of course, lol) and kicked Kallie outside. She wasn't allowed in ALL day! And I'm SOOO tempted to make it permanent....I guess we'll see how things go before I make it a permanent thing.

K - that's all for today, lol. Awesome day with a moment of grr-ness :P See you tomorrow! XOXO!! :D

Day 164 -- Lazy Sunday

Another lazy Sunday. I grew up dreading Sundays. Not that I minded church - what I minded was getting up early on the weekend! I have dealt with insomnia since I was little. I can remember laying in bed, wide awake until long after everyone else had fallen asleep. I thought it was just normal. Besides - what the heck could they give a 10 year old with insomnia! So sleepless nights equaled grumpy mornings. And being woken up to go to church just sucked in my book!

So, being all grown up and what not, it's awesome to have Sunday's truly be a day of rest. I'm not one for organized religion, so I'm happy to use Sundays to lounge about about enjoy laziness :P

I did, however, put Tom to work, lol. Not much - but it was a HUGE step towards finally getting my garage sale done! The moving truck (it's my inlaws, fyi - so no, we're not paying to have it hold our stuff for this long, lol). It's been sitting in our main parking spot since we moved in. I had Tom move it around to the side of my house (basically where a garage would go if anyone had a brain and made one) - and it will act as my garage for the upcoming garage sale. That way I can close the door at night and lock my stuff up. Pretty smart idea, huh :D

Today's photo came when Tom was able to finally park his truck (pickup, not moving) in the driveway parking spot. He let the boys sit in the cab and go for the 5 second ride as he pulled the truck around and into its new home :) I grabbed today's photo as he was finishing up :)

That's all for today!! See you tomorrow!! XOXO :D

Day 163 -- Escaping the Heat

We had a pretty hot day today - so the boys got to play in the sprinkler. I ended up letting Connor go next door during Liam's nap so that he & Breanna could continue to enjoy some nice cold water. I went and peeked through a hole in the fence and saw them playing. I was even able to take a photo through that hole - and got today's photo:

OH - and not that y'all know Yari, but I got word from her today that she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. There was some complications after birth - and gave everyone a scare, but she's doing well now (I don't know the details -- didn't ask -- and probably wouldn't share even if I did know) :D SO yay - Cameron is finally here!!

That's all for today! See y'all tomorrow! XoXo :D

Day 162 -- A Moment to Grieve And Then A Giggle

You know - I'm probably gonna sound weird when I say this - but I choose the shows I watch carefully. And if there's a chance of the ending being completely sucky, then I won't waste my time. I also like to wait until a show is over before diving in and watching it so I can watch all the episodes back to back over the space of a few weeks instead of waiting for each new episode and dealing with commercials. This started with Lost back when it was in its second season - I got used to having it commercial free AND back to back - and ended up being spoiled when I tried to watch it on TV. Ugh! The commercials were just way too annoying. And don't get me started with waiting a week to see the next episode (let alone waiting for the next season). So yes - I actually stopped watching and patiently waited until the show ended before starting it. I have heard mixed reviews on how it ended, so I'm still torn about whether or not I'll watch it...

But that's not what I wanted to rant about. See... People that watch shows on a week to week basis have the chance to return to reality, lol. If a person immerses themselves into these fictional worlds the way I do (hours at a time - every single day with little reprieve), well - the story can really impact you (can anyone say holy shite about Dexter?! I was depressed with genuine grief for weeks after that season finale - which I saw after having watched all the other seasons back to back.) So actually - Dexter is a great example! RIGHT NOW - in hindsight - I really don't care what happened. But I've since come to terms that it's fiction, lol. But at the time, right after watching it, I went through some genuine emotions of grief and denial, lol.

I am in the middle of a series right now that just killed off a main character. And I think I bawled for 10 minutes and am still feeling the grief from it. I know it's fake (I really do - I promise, lol) - but I've been living with these characters for a little over a month now ... *sigh* And then I research it online - yep, he's gone. And not coming back. OH - and while I'm researching - I see another main character is gonna go buh-bye in the 4th season. I'm starting to feel like I picked a bad show to watch. I've got two more seasons - and for all I know, it just gets worse... grrrrrr....

Alias figured it out - listened to the fans and fixed the issues they caused (thank goodness!!). Battlestar Galactica had a complete brain fart and dropped their fans, leaving them with a WTF ending.

Okay - forget my tirade, lol. I was just trying to come to terms with these emotions that I can't seem to shake (normally I would smoke - but that's not an option anymore). I just can't believe they killed him off :(

I did however have an UH-MAZE-ING day with Swagbucks! All week has been that crazy deal where each day the magic awesome bill got bigger and bigger. Gotta go out with a bang, right? So today, it was a 59 bill!! OMG! And get this! I hit that puppy TWICE!!! My first two searches (where I got something) were 59 swagbucks each! I also had a couple referrals get 59. Not to mention the other random (less amount) searches I got! I think I got well over 300 Swagbucks today! :D Awesome, ain't it!!

And today's photo is just a cute little moment between Kallie and Liam. Kallie was licking Liam's finger, and Liam was cracking up from it, lol. It was the giggles that made me turn around (from watching my dang show) and see what was up. I just had to grab a photo :)

And I forced myself to scrap (I tend to scrap while watching my show - so the grieving really didn't help my scrapping, lol). I pushed myself however, because I was lagging on my CT duties and came up with this (not my fave layout - but when you're in a hurry, you just deal with it and move on.)

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

Day 161 -- Beautiful Back Drop!

Nada much going on today! OH - I did have an awesome Swagbucks day!! They've been doing this mega week all week long (instead of just mega Friday) where each day is worth something much huger than normal. Monday was 25. Tuesday was 31. Wednesday was 39 and today was 47! And yup - you guessed it! I got a 47!!! :D I love seeing my Swagbucks total leap that much all at once! Just from one simple search! Who knows - maybe I'll be able to get another $25 card before the month is over!!

Today's photo is something I think a lot of us here in the 'Couve take for granted. It's the backdrop to our backyard. I personally have never taken it for granted - especially after living in Arizona for almost two years (where mountains to them are foothills to me, and rivers to them are barely creeks to me). I love the green - and I know we have to have a mass amount of rain to get that greenery. I'm SOOOO okay with that. And when driving down a very common road for me - I get THIS for a background:

Holy Gorgeous Background, Batman!!! RIGHT!?! I mean - wow! I get to see this any time I want (well, clouds permitting of course). And that's just one. To the left of this a ways, there's another one of these babies just waiting to take your breath away! I LOVE where I live! SOOO much!

OH - and in case you were wondering -- the photo above is a picture of Mt. Hood (a VERY popular skiing mountain). And the one I mentioned - the one that's over to the left? That one is Mt. Saint Helens - an even more popular mountain due to its eruption in 1980.

Welcome to my little corner of the world! Ain't it great :D

Day 160 -- I Find My Pees!

Today was a pretty good day!! Okay - lets get some stuff out of the way. First and awesomely foremost - Yari of Jady Day Studio is coming back to the digi world!! (I knew she wouldn't be able to stay away for long, lol). After much urging and encouraging, she has decided to open a personal store that will be run on her blog. Just something to keep her name out there and a place to release anything she might make in her down time.

So if you're interested - stay tuned to her Facebook and/or her Blog for further info about that!

OH - and I finally did it. I finally broke down and got a $25 Amazon card with the mass amounts of Swagbucks that I had saved up. I almost waited to get a $50 one, but decided to just grab the $25 one. That's $50 so far this month!! That camera will be mine before you know it! EEEEK :D

Okay! And now for the awesome AWESOME news!! LIAM FINALLY WENT PEE ON THE POTTY!!! *Does a happy dance!* (((It's about dang time! lol))) LOL - We all got so excited and made such a huge deal of it that he got re-energized for the night (oops). And then he "secretly" played in his room for an hour or so before finally calling it a night (he thinks he's much quieter than he actually is, lol) :D

You might think this isn't much - but Liam really hasn't had that much interest in potty training.
Maybe a little here and there, but nothing huge. And for the life of me - we couldn't get him to actually pee on the toilet. The last couple days I have been doing the naked thing - where you let them run around naked so that they either use the toilet, or pee somewhere. He only had one accident - and was able to hold it the rest of the time (I put a diaper back on for nap - and he finally peed then, stinker, lol). Today (the second day) he didn't do any better. But as we were getting him ready for bed, we thought what the hey and put him on the toilet. And I swear it was like he'd been doing it all along - he just peed, lol....

I'm not sure if he just didn't get HOW to pee, or he wasn't interested... idk - but I do know that we made the HUGEST deal out of it so that he'd know how happy we were. He was SO happy and silly - it was such a cute moment :) I only hope this continues tomorrow.

And yes - I got a picture, lol. I kept it tasteful, so no neked baby parts are showing, lol. And his face says SO much, lol. Kind of a "WTH, Mom!" photo, lol. I'm sure he'll love it when he's older :P

And before I wrap things up - I have one more thing to share. Kristin released this adorable travel kit and I finally finished my layout. We've never really traveled, so I wasn't sure what I was gonna do. This one just kinda fell together - and I'm really happy with how it turned out :)

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

Day 159 -- Concentration

I really love seeing Liam's enjoyment with his drawer! I'm tellin' ya - best toy I've ever spent money on (even better then the boxes that seem to rule after Christmas morning!!). We had a quiet moment today, and I turned around (expecting to see Liam getting into something he shouldn't - you know that kind of quiet, lol). Well, this is what I saw:

I really love how hard he concentrates. I have NO clue what he tries to draw, but boy-howdy, does he try!! And I'll leave ya with that!! See you tomorrow! XOXO :D

Day 158 -- Connor, Preschool Grad!

Today was a BIG day for the Moody house hold! Today, our little Connor officially graduated from head start and will officially start Kindergarten next fall!! I can't believe it! I can still remember making that phone call to enroll him in the head start program! That was nearly two years ago! How is it possible that time flew by so fast! He'll be six at the end of this year! .... I was just holding him, only 7lbs 10oz ...

I bet I'll blink again, and this will be a high school graduation out fit, right, lol :)

That's it for today! I'm gonna go somewhere and reminisce of times gone by and all that mushy stuff, lol :) See you tomorrow! XOXO :)

Day 157 -- Like Father, Like Sons

Not really up for being uber chatty tonight, so I'm keeping this short and sweet :)

Today was a nice day, so Tom decided to mow the lawn (and yes - I'm still a little shocked when I remember we even have a lawn TO mow! I'm loving this whole house living! screw apartments!). Where was I ... Ah yes - mowing the lawn. The boys really get a kick out of it all. Especially when he first starts. They'll following him around for quite a while. They're not allowed to go in front of or beside Tom - so that's what you'll see.

And in this particular photo - you see Connor acting as the protective big brother. Holding Liam's hand for one - but he always kept himself just slightly ahead/in front of Liam - kinda like a shield :) It's so sweet when I see them together like this :)

See -- short and sweet! See you tomorrow! XOXO :)

Day 156 -- The Birdie's Savior

So Kevin & Krisstin are moving today! They recruited Tom and his truck to come and help, so he did that most of the day today. And while he was gone - I actually had a little bit of a cat & bird emergency.

Listen - I get that cats kill & eat certain animals. I'm all for it actually. Circle of life and all that. However - when our dumb cat insists on bringing live animals to my front door (which stays open for fresh air, by the by) and she sits there TORTURING these animals .. yeah, enough is enough! I can't listen to little (adorably CUTE) mice squeaking in terror, any more than I can listen to baby birdies chirpie out for help to anyone who will listen.

Enter me!

I shoo Kallie away and pick up this tiny bird. I can see the wings working ... well, good from what I can tell. So I don't think it's a tiny adult bird. I really think it's a baby bird. And by the sounds of the larger bird yapping LOUDLY out side, I was pretty sure it had a pissed off mama.

I actually called the humane society to find out what the best course of action was. They said that it was most likely a baby who was on the verge of flying. And the way they do it is by jumping out of the nest and flopping around for a few days till they finally fly (are you KIDDING me! What a messed up way to do things! But whatever - not my call, lol). So the humane society guy tells me that if I could find a basket or something and put some grass and stuff in it and hang it near where it came from, that would be the best thing.

So that's what I did. I hung up a basket in the tree below the screaming bird and hoped it would all work out. And I took some photos to use for my P365 since it was such a huge deal that I saved (hopefully) this birdie, lol. And of all the photos I took they were ALL horrible. Pictures of the side of the basket, blurry and focused alike - and pointless. All horrible ... save one!! Somehow, out of all these - I pulled back just right and snapped one more before going in (I didn't wanna scare the bird to jump out again!). And I got this photo:

After that, I left to go see K&K's new house. An awesome little 3 bedroom in a quiet neighborhood (lucky bastards, lol). I did learn that they aren't 100% happy with their place - and still want to find a 4 bedroom in the same school district, so if & when they do find one and move - then we might be able to work something out with the landlord of their place and just move in after they leave :D

We'll see I guess :)

Day 155 -- Liam's Spot

Liam is still tiny enough that he can comfortably sit on us while we chill on the couch. I usually don't have my leg straight like Tom does in the photo below - but the area is the same. Liam will hop over our bent legs and plop his little bum there, letting his little legs hang over ours. I love it when he sits with me. It's the closest I can get to those wonderful nights when he was a newborn and he and I would cuddle on the couch... It used to be impossible for me to sleep without hearing the soft little snores from that boy. It was so hard when he moved out of our room, lol...

K - enough reminiscing, lol. Here's the photo:

That's it for today! See you tomorrow :D XOXO!

Day 154 -- 5 Guys Burgers & Fries

Quick Swagbucks side note!! I got another Amazon card today along with ANOTHER referral! I can almost feel my new camera in my hands!!! Go me go!

Today was a pretty decent day. Tom told me his sister is starting a new job at some burger joint called 5 Guys Burgers & Fries (kind of a mouth full, if you ask me - and I don't mean in a good way). Anyhoo ... Tom decided to take us and see if this place was as good as he'd heard. If first impressions mean everything -- I have to say I was very UN-impressed! I can't really put into words just how uncomfortable i felt in this place. It was supposed to be a restaurant (I think) where people sit and eat - but it was set up like a fast food joint where you walk around and wait in line to order. Wouldn't be THAT bad if the place wasn't lit up like the expensive section of an electronics store. Not only that - but there weren't any privacy walls of any kind. So you're standing there, waiting to order, and the whole time (the WHOLE time) it's like you're on display to all these people ... just sitting out there, eating, staring at you... UGH - just writing about it is bringing up bad memories.

We finally got the food, and here comes crazy mama with her camera - determined to continue her crazy goal of P365, even if it kills her! I snap a few shots - and decided that this one will be for today:

Oh - and if you were wondering about the food... yeah - calling it horse piss is being nice! The meat had absolutely ZERO flavoring. It tasted like watered beef ... all chewy and bland! The fries were grease potatoes ... and not the good kind of grease (like McDonalds, lol) but the bad kind... Like somehow they figured out how to harness the flavor of burnt. UGH! We will never go back, that's for sure!

That's it for today! See you tomorrow! XOXO! :D

OH - and just in case you like this place - kudos for you! I hate it, so I'm sorry if I offended you :)

Day 153 -- Daddy Smooches

Holy crap - I scrapped today! I woke up not having any desire what so ever to scrap. But I knew I needed to do something. Especially if I ever expect to reach my goal of two layouts every week - for a total of a 104 layouts this year. I thought I gave myself an easy goal - but I am waaaayyy behind, lol. So yeah - I made myself scrap something. I found a challenge at Sweet Shoppe that called out to me, chose an awesome KCB (Kristin Cronin-Barrow) kit and went to town. And here it is, 2:30am on June 3rd, and I just shut down Photoshop! BUT - I finished and I LOVE it!!

So today I did laundry. All day long - cleaning clothes that weren't dirty so much as smelly. They smelled of storage from sitting in a moving truck for months. So I have been doing an endless stream of laundry - doing my absolute best to fold the newly dried stuff instead of making a pile for later (I did great with that today!).

The kids were stinkers - of course (grrr). OH - we had a parent teacher conference for Connor. He's doing great - and they even liked what they saw in Liam (remember the photo from this post - well they saw the care and patience he took drawing an endless amount of circles. They mentioned stuff like remarkable patience for a 2 year old, and great spatial understanding, and other stuff I can't remember, but knew it was good, lol). They went over Connor's final remarks and left. In a few hours, I'll be taking Connor to school. And on Monday - I'll be going to Connor's school to watch him graduate. And it's for real this time - not a pretend like last year. My baby starts Kindergarten soon. Oh wow!!

Eek - this post is getting WAY too long! Today's photo is kinda not what I was wanting to get, but since I can't see what I'm getting till I upload them on my computer (fyi: broken LCD monitor on my camera for those just tuning in) I wasn't able to see that they didn't' look as cute as I thought (I was going for silhouette - and ended up getting too much light and not enough face. The moment I turn them dark, Toms face just looks ... off, lol. I needed their whole heads for it)...

Ugh - anyways - here's my photo for today :)

That's it!! See you tomorrow!! XOXO!

Day 152 -- Room With A View

I love when the month starts! That means shopping day at Swagbucks!! I got two more $5 Amazon gift cards today to go towards my new camera. AND - because of those, someone (not sure who yet) signed up under me, getting me a new Swagbucks referral!

And I wouldn't be smart if I didn't do a quick plug - so, if you haven't joined yet -- use my referral and get 30 swagbucks just for joining! And if you ever have any questions - just leave me a comment here and I'll get back to ya! :)

Today's photo is honestly boring - but will probably be a fave of mine in the years to come. Kind of one of those "Hey honey - look at this one. You remember that yard? Man, that yard was awesome!" There was a portfolio challenge at Sweet Shoppe that asked us to scrap a photo of what we see from our front door (kind of a change of seasons photo. Take one at the beginning of every month, etc). Well - I took the photo - thought it was ... completely blah, and scratched the idea of a monthly photo of this:

The joys of living in a wet state - everything is green. Also - the joys of having evergreen trees everywhere means that even in the fall and winter time - those trees don't change much.

So yeah - kinda a boring photo, but oh well - deal with it, lol. That's all for today!! See you tomorrow! XOXO :D

Day 151 -- A Vent and a Smile

There's a conversational phrase that really just irks me to the core. I mean - I'll be fine one second and then pissed off & depressed (all at once) the moment someone says this. I never could understand what it was about this phrase that really got under my skin, but it happens every time I hear it. And it's a parental phrase. Something someone says when they've been there and done that. You might hear it when you're pregnant, but if you don't - you'll definitely hear it within those first few months after giving birth.

Now the phrase has many sayings; many ways of being expressed. But the general idea behind it is the same. And what gets me is that it's always meant to be understanding. As if the person saying it is laughing at an inside joke with you. And maybe some people can take it that way. But not me. I just feel like they're laughing AT me, because someone forgot to mention the inside joke to me!

The saying - in general terms is this: Oh, just you wait.

This can be about oh so many things. A crying child, a temper tantrum, sleepless nights, worrying about your child's safety, etc. And what I don't get is why someone would think that saying that it's going to get worse, or that there's no end in sight, would actually help the mother pouring her soul out!! I go to a friend, a relative, a stranger even - and I tell them my woes. It's what women do best - lend an ear. We're empathetic that way. But some of those women don't realize that we don't (never!) need to hear something negative! We need to hear that ... maybe you've been there. And not that it gotten worse (even if it has) - but that you made it through! Something - ANYTHING - that conveys hope for the future!!

I won't go into detail about what brought this on. All I can say is to please stop with the little "It only get's worse" comments! They don't help. In fact - they might cause more harm then you could ever imagine. I battle depression all the time. And it's hard on those days when the world seems like a dark, pointless place to live. And the one thing I cling to is hope for the future. It can be something big like watching the 4th of July fireworks on the beach this year - or something as small as knowing I get to sleep in tomorrow! But when someone takes that hope away with something they think is a damn joke... it really makes fighting my own internal battles that much harder! (And my poor husband is left with a sobbing crazy lady, and no idea how to fix her, lol)

Whew - I really just needed to get that out! Someone said that to me today and I did a complete 180 with my emotions and have been struggling to calm down ever sense! That venting really helped! And if I've enlightened you on what NOT to say - so much the better!

And since I've written so much - I'll wrap things up quickly with today's photo! The boys have gotten into this habit of drawing footballs. Over and over and over, lol. I caught this little moment and figured it would be a good photo to share since it made me smile despite my angst :)

Day 150 -- A Cumfy Spot

So having a cat has changed a few things. I've found more hair (annoying, but I'll deal) and the kids can't get enough. But what surprised me the most is the way Tom got suckered in. My goodness - it's a good thing we never had a girl because she would have him wrapped around her little finger the way that Kallie has him wrapped around her little paw, lol.

I was busy surfing away online when I heard two distinct sounds. The first was the light snoring of my husband who had fallen asleep on the couch watching TV. The second was the lighter snoring of our cat - who was using Toms legs as a bed. I grabbed this photo - not only because it was cute, but because it's not a first. You see, Miss Kallie is ALWAYS at his feet. If he's awake - she's there begging for loves. If he's sitting - she's there, chilling with him. And if he's asleep - then she's sprawled across him, snoring away as well! *humph* lol

That's all for today!! See you tomorrow!! XOXO :D

Monday, July 5, 2010


♥♥♥Getting Something for Nothing♥♥♥
♥♥♥Using: Search & Win and Survey sites♥♥♥

Okay, I've been putting off this post for a while. Not really sure why - but I figure now is as good a time as any to explain some awesome things on the internet that I have found and LOVE!

First - let's get something straight. I'm a suspicious person by nature! I won't discount something right off the bat - but neither will I do it without first researching the heck out of it. And I always test the waters before I'll ever suggest it to my friends.

Now - I have come across a few things online that have turned out to be genuine (ie: I have been paid by them, or have been paid because of something I got from them). Some pay in money. Others pay in various prizes and gift cards (my favorite are Amazon gift cards - I'll say why later).

Without further ado - let's get right to it!


Search & Win

This is my favorite so far!! I joined back in December of 2009, and have made a total of $195 (as of July 5th) in Amazon gift cards (with extra swagbucks to spare).

~~ How it works: This is a search & win site. You search using the Swagbucks search engine, and randomly you'll win points (called Swagbucks) which can then be traded in for prizes. The most common prize are the $5 Amazon gift cards (which can be added to you Amazon account - and they'll never expire. And they do cover shipping & handling if you have enough saved up!). The $5 Amazon GC costs 450 swagbucks.

The average search will earn you around 10 swagbucks - though I have gotten many more at higher amounts. You can almost always win at least three times a day (though it is random, so there's no guarantee.) There is almost always a swagcode out every day - on average worth around 6 swagbucks. Plus you can get one for a few things (daily polls, no obligation offers, trusted surveys and having the toolbar - that's 4 swagbucks every day for just a few seconds of your time). This can add up fast! And that's just you! If you get a referral - you'll get a matching amount of every swagbuck they earn during searches (up to their first 1000 swagbucks)!

~~ Prizes: As stated - this can all add up pretty fast! Swagbucks has a pretty huge store (called a Swagstore - go figure, lol). The two most popular purchases tend to be the $5 Amazon gift card (which never expire once they're added to your Amazon account - and you can add more to you account -- meaning they are stackable). And there's also the $5 PayPal gift card - which costs more swagbucks to get - but can then be used anywhere.

By yourself, doing your daily searching and participating, it will take you about 2-3 weeks to earn enough for an Amazon card. For me - this was going to be a free book! Who doesn't like the idea of grabbing some good reading....FOR FREE! :) So that's what kept me at it! Then my friend Jess joined, and with her matching search wins - I was able to get an Amazon card in about 10 days! Oh Me Likey! A few more Amazon cards - my winnings posted every time on my Facebook - and I had a few more referrals. Soon I was getting 5 cards ($25) every month!

Click the image below to use my referral and get 30 swagbucks just for joining!!!

Search & Win


After such awesome success with Swagbucks, I went searching for more! 99% of the things I found were either dead sites (or dying!) or sites that required you to purchase stuff before getting any sort of points (I'm looking for free people! hello!?).

I came across an online post (sorta like the one I'm writing now) that had something like Top 10 Search & Win sites! There was this site called Irazoo listed on there. I went and found out that it was a site very similar to Swagbucks, just not as hyped up and flashy. They definitely feel new, but I've only heard good things from them. Well - people complain (since I guess free isn't good enough - because they expect TONS of free stuff RIGHT now with next to ZERO effort! - whatever!!!).

~~ How it works: Same as Swagbucks - you search with their search engine, and win random points good for stuff from their store. The store is pretty tiny and the only thing I'm interested in is the Amazon gift card. The average search seems to give you around 35-60 points. They also have Treasure Codes every once in a while - usually worth some pretty high amounts (50-75 points). And they just added a recommendation aspect to their searching. When you click on a search result - a red bar will run along the top of the website. It still seems wonky (cuz it doesn't work with EVERY search) but a 30 second count down will appear on the top right, under the comment box. After the countdown is done, the "Yes" and "No" buttons will activate and you can choose to recommend (or not) the site you visited - and it will give you 50 points! You can do this twice a day for an awesome 100 points!

~~ Prizes: As I said before - the amount prizes are pretty slim right now. They have an Amazon gift card that I have my eye on - but I haven't quite gotten enough points yet! (I'm about 200 shy - but with the recommendations - I'll have it in a couple days!) Since they're still new - I'm thinking they don't have many sponsors. So I'm sure that they'll only get bigger as the hype of Search & Win sites grows! :)

Click the image below to use my referral and you and I will both get 50 point just for you joining!!!


When I first got the internet - way long ago, lol - I went in search of free stuff. I guess it's in my blood for find the easy money, lol. I came across tons of results for survey sights. The most popular at the time (this was in 2001) seemed to be MySurvey. I had no problems with it way back then, but I did find that getting points seemed an endless task - and the prizes were just too expensive. It required referrals to really get anywhere - and I had no real online friends who I could bother :)

Fast forward to a few months ago - I came across my old activation email and went back to MySurvey. The few points I had earned nearly 10 years ago were gone - but I did see that they added a HUGE amount of new prizes - including my beloved Amazon gift cards!! So I got to work getting my profiles all set up (they use these to prescreen you for surveys - that way they don't send you surveys for topics that will never need you {ie: wanted - male, 45, divorced ---- that would NOT be me, and would be a waste of time to send it to me, lol}). So after doing all my profiles, as well as the few surveys I qualified for - I was already halfway towards my first $10 Amazon card!!

~~ How it works: You'll get an email alerting you to a new survey (they never spam your email). If you choose to install their little alert thingy - that will give you a little pop up alert as well. Fill out the survey to the best of your abilities and hope that you qualify. If you don't qualify - you'll still get the 5-10 points for the prescreening questions. If you do qualify - you'll most likely get another 100-200 points for your time & effort!! And what's awesome - when you do qualify - there's a chance you'll get more stuff! I've tested products, watched TV show promos, and helped (I think) to develop products/movies and a bunch of other stuff into what they eventually were when released (I can remember doing a survey about those fabric softener bars that go IN your dryer - as well as what I liked and didn't like about the premise for a show - including the title: Life, Unexpected.)

~~ Prizes: I remember when I first joined - they had like 10 things and the stuff I wanted was so far out of my reach - it's not even funny :P But when I came back to them this year - and I browsed the prizes - I was just stunned at the HUGE list of stuff!!! Yes - they have the Amazon gift cards! They seem to be so popular (and why not - you can get nearly anything you want from Amazon!). They also have PayPal! And -- the prices for both the Amazon and PayPal are the SAME amount -- 1100 points for a $10 gift card! ((So far - from all the sites I've participated on - this exchange of point amounts for prize amounts is the fairest and best!!))

Click the image below to use my referral and get started. And make sure to do the First Chance Survey -- it helps me get my referral points and helps you get your info entered so that you can get more surveys!!!


Another survey site that I'm pretty happy with has been Survey Savvy. They don't give you prescreening points like MySurvey does - but the prescreen questions are pretty quick and to the point - so they won't waste your time. But when you do qualify - it's pretty nice. I think the best thing I've ever had happen was the invitation to a private HP Forum where I give my opinion about all things HP and then get paid with (yep - you guessed it, lol) a nAmazon card worth $15, every month. So, if for nothing else - I rave about Survey Savvy, lol. I also have $46 saved up in my account, but I have yet to ask for a check (I'm kinda waiting for them to give me the option to have it paid via Amazon - or for the total to hit something like $100 maybe, lol).

~~ How it works: You'll get an email (usually two for the same survey) and you'll do the prescreen questions. If you qualify, you'll do their stuff and then get whatever the amount specified added to your account balance (they'll say in the email what the prize amount will be - should you qualify).

~~ Prizes: You get paid by check with this one. So far, I've just let my balance accumulate, but you can request a check for your amount (or any amount I think) any time you want :)

Click the image below to use my referral and get started

And what, you might ask, am I saving for!? Well - I love photography (I guess you knew -- considering you stopped here on my Project 365 blog, lol). My Sony A100 DSLR camera has had a good run, but is dying. And instead of investing money to get it fixed, I'm taking that money and putting it towards a new camera. But when I went searching for the one I wanted, I decided that if I was going to get something - I should have it be an improvement (other wise I just might as well fix the one I have and just invest in nice lenses. No thank you, lol - Mama wants her dream camera. Thanks! lol).

So, I decided (I think!) on the Canon EOS Rebel T1i.

I chose this one for a couple reasons. One - the mega pixels is 15.1 -- FIVE more than what I have now! I saw a huge difference between my 8mp and 10mp cameras - so I'm so stoked at the idea of a 5mp improvement!! And two - it's got video capabilities! I'm lacking digital video right now - and I hate not being able to upload stuff online and share it with my friends :D

And that, my friends, is what I've been saving up Amazon money for!! With my work in Swagbucks, as well as my work with the HP forum - my account is currently sitting with $300!!! Isn't that crazy!! It was ALLL for free!! I'm so excited to get my camera!! I have a wedding coming up that I'm getting paid in advance for - as well as I'm working on doing my garage sale - so I plan to have this baby by the end of the month!!

Poo On Posting

As my little header (which I just updated) states - I was doing so great with my blog! I was finally (FINALLY) caught up and then summer stuck. I really got into sorting my stuff to get it ready for a garage sale that I swear will one day happen! The weather being nice had us all doing more outdoor stuff. And unfortunately, my depression took a nose dive - which affected me in all my creative outlets (scrapping, photography and blogging alike!) I forced myself to take photos, I made some awesome layouts despite not really wanting to, but I didn't get much done here :(

So, soon - oh so soon - I'll be doing some catch up posts :) Despite the depression, June was really an awesome month - full of fun times and awesome photos :) I'm eager to get my memories jotted down before more time passes, so catch up posts are on my to-do list for sure :)

A quick recap - I'm not dropping my P365 efforts. I've been diligent (mostly) with photos. And catch-up posts are coming soon :D

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 149 -- Have Some DVDs

Well, today didn't go as planned. Our friends Dameon and Kaci are moving this weekend, and they ended up using Tom and his truck all day today. I'm a little irked cuz they were no where to be found when we were moving. It took us over a week of 16+ hour days to get our stuff packed and loaded in the truck (and it didn't even all fit! We had to unload some and go back). If Kevin & Krisstin hadn't helped for the little bit that they did, and if my mom hadn't baby sat the boys for those last couple days of moving.... yeah - I'm bitter, what can I say, lol.

So, I was extremely bummed we didn't get to the dresser today. I didn't wanna do it myself - I wanted Tom's help. So I didn't even start. Instead - I started to tackle the task of organizing and transferring all of our DVDs from their cases to the new giganto CD case that I got. I hate putting our DVDs into a case like this, but we just don't have room for the shelf we normally use. And doing it this way really is saving space.

In the middle of it all, I managed to extract myself and grabbed a photo of the organized mess :D

That photo doesn't even show them all. You can't see our boxed sets, plus the kids movies were the first ones to go in there a few days ago. Oh - and when I cropped the photo to go on my blog here, I cut off a couple stacks of movies.

Yep - we have a lot of movies, lol.

Day 148 -- Bath Time

Connor usually takes showers, so we don't do the double bath thing often. So when we do -- it's becomes a little treat for the boys, and a little photo op for me! :D

Happy Friday Everyone!! Hope y'all have a great Memorial Day Weekend! We have nothing planned, so who knows what we'll do! Well - we do have one plan: we are planning on finally getting to the farthest back corner of the moving truck. And in that corner - currently piled and surrounded by boxes - is my dresser. The sad excuse for a closet here barely holds Tom's clothes. That leaves me with a laundry basket on the floor for my stuff. And with the discovery of more of my clothes the other day - my basket just isn't cutting it anymore. So, yay! I should have my own clothes storage soon :D

That's it for today!! See you tomorrow! XoXo! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 147 -- Drawin' on the Drawer

Today was the day that I swore would have zero yelling. That's right - no fighting kids, no yelling to be heard over the screeching. I never turned on the TV - just like the old days. It made the kids a little restless at first - wanting to kick each other and what not on the couch. When the screeching started, I told them to cut it out and made them go and play in their rooms. And that's how most the day went - me out here, them in their room...playing quite happily I might add.

AHHHH -- music to my ears!!!

When that got old, I saw that the weather had finally gotten good enough to let them go out. I couldn't get their shoes on fast enough, lol. Two weeks of rain has made us all a little stir crazy :) When Tom got home, we ended up heading out to the mall to get a tool, and it let us just get out of the house even more!! ((Yes - I had cabin fever a lot - can't you tell, lol)

Let's see... Oh - today's photo is of a cute moment of Liam drawing on his new drawer. He just looked so cute that I had to snap a shot :)

And I found the time to finish one final page for my Sweet Shoppe portfolio for May. I didn't get nearly as many pages done as I'd hoped, but I did get enough for 10 points!! And it was my first try - so I'm way happy! But more importantly - I love the pages I made! And that is what matters most for me!

First -- feel free to take a peek at my May Portfolio. I hope to do a few more of the challenges they have, but this is the one I'll get credit for (and a suh-weet coupon for!)


Onto my layout - and wow - do I love this one!! I said back HERE that I would be using the kit you see in that post. But the thing is - these photos are pretty dark. It was early afternoon - and cloudy on top of it. So all the photos have a very gray tone to them. And that kit is all bright and cheery. Lucky for me, Kristin did another rain-ish kit! It's more about sad moments (thus the name Bad Day Blues). And the colors of this kit are just spot on perfect for my photos!!!

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!

Day 146 -- Look At Those Pearly Whites!

OH - I forgot to mention yesterday that me & the hubby hit our 4 month mark as non-smokers!! GO US!! YAY!!!

We had a busy day today :) Today was the boys 6 month dental check up. Last year, when they had their first visit, I had Tom's help. This time, it was all me. The ladies there were nice enough to do it one kid at a time, so I was glad for that.

They did so great with both the boys. Connor was up first - and the dentist started asking questions. I swear Connor gave her the look that we all think about when put in the same situation - why the hell are you asking me questions when you can plainly see that I can't talk!! Liam did even better this time! Last time, while he didn't freak, he also made things tricky (he wouldn't open his mouth, so she had to just make do by moving his lips around and hoping for the best). This time, Liam opened wide and let her go to work :) That's today's photo:

I had the hardest time choosing a photo today! I got some great one's from both! So here's a little collage. That top photo is of Connor's bottom teeth. See how one looks crooked -- that's because it's pushing up between the two baby teeth, causing the slightest wiggle of them bottom two teeth (the dentist lady said around his 6th birthday in November - we should see him losing his first teeth!).

But we're not done yet! After we were done, we went to McDonalds to have a very late lunch (it was already 4pm!). And after -- for being such good boys - they got to play in the toy area :)

Day 145 -- His Masterpiece

For Christmas this past year, my mom got those little doodle toys (the one's that you draw on it and then slide the little dealy on the bottom to erase and then start again). Well, those lasted only a few days before it was cracked. Then a week or two and a chunk was broken off. Up until finally one was garbage, and finally the other. It was a sad day with the drawers were gone (that how the boys refer to them - it's a two syllable word: "draw" and "ers").

So, yesterday while I was browsing around in Target, I came across a sale that I couldn't pass up. And I bought the boys new drawers. And not the cheap ones that my mom found (LOVE YOU MOM! lol) but the "Kid Tough" Fisher Price ones :)

Today's photo was a challenge over come by Connor!! The drawers came with little pictures on the front. One was of a simple stick-figure type house. Connor desperately wanted to draw one and couldn't figure it out. But something must have clicked cuz he excitedly showed me this! :D

I thought the circle in the sky was supposed to be a sun or cloud - maybe a tree with an unfinished trunk. But he informed me that it was a microphone. I have NO clue why - but hey, it's his picture, lol :)

Day 144 -- Closed Eyes All Around

Sometimes the best intentions don't result in that perfect photo!! Even with all my photoshopping skillz, I consider this photo beyond repair...

Dirty faces aside (I could have cleaned those up, but chose to leave the mess intact) the closed eyes are a disappointment. I nearly deleted these photos outright, unsatisfied with any photos I got today. But as I scrolled through, trying to decide which photo to use for today's photo - the one above kept creeping in my thoughts. Tramping down my OCD, I saw the lighter side of this photo. I know the eyes are closed, but look at those grins, lol. And having seen numerous photos of me as a kid (cute smile and closed eyes! Yeah baby!) I decided to again embrace the imperfections and use this one as today's photo!

And with that (you know I used the word photo 10 times in today's post! I hate repetition, but I don't feel like proofing it and rewriting it, lol. So just deal). Where was I? Oh - and with that, I end today's post!! See you tomorrow! XoXo! :D

PS: PHOTO!!! (I couldn't resisit, lol)

Day 143 -- Cuddle Kitty

Today was a good day for me! I have been struggling ALL week long to scrap something. I just had NO desire. I would lurk on my scrapbook sites, and just sigh with sadness. But yesterday, a new kit was released by Kristin, and I found the stirrings of scrapping desire raise its head. And after a few hours of photo searching (I was trying desperately to figure out what pics to use with a tropical kit when I've NEVER been anywhere tropical! I finally {accidentally} stumbled across some Multnomah Falls pics that worked PERFECTLY). After I found those, it was on! And yesterday, I pretty much finished up my page! I left it for the night just in case a good night's sleep brought about anything new (it really didn't).

But before I show you that -- Today's photo was of a cute moment between Kallie & Connor. I know, I know - a lot of my posts seem to be about Kallie, but you'll have to forgive me - she's new and interesting, and I'm having fun grabbing photos of these first days of family life with a pet :)

So this was today's photo:

It's cute and I had to choose that one! I just couldn't pass it up! But I can't leave off the reason why I grabbed my camera to begin with. The boys were all chillin' on the couch together, and I didn't think much of it. But something I saw made me pause and do a double take and then run for my camera....

Yep, that is Kallie all blah-ified, laying with Connor, lol. This cat really is laid back, lol.

AND!! I did promise a layout, didn't I? :D Well, as I said earlier, Kristin came out with a new kit. And it's got a tropical feel to it. It's fricking gorgeous, and would be SO perfect for those Hawaii pictures (that I don't have!). But I think it ended up working wonderfully with the photos I did choose - what do you think? :)

Full credits can be found by clicking on the image!
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