This is an important update about my business and family. Please take a moment and read.
As of late I have received MANY emails, and comments about “where” I have been, as since my move to a new home, posts have been scarce.
Many have said I am/will lose my “customers” or followers with my lack of posting. Maybe, and most likely that is, or will be true. Nonetheless I feel I should explain my reasoning’s.
Now all the wonder, with the questions and comments, leads me to explain something I was going to keep personal. I am always an open book anyway, so why not now too!
Well its not just MY life that is on a HOLD so to speak. A pause, or standstill. It is my entire family that is in this state of pause.
Unknown to the world I’ve been juggling many BIG things, that have required my full attention.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, while most are focused on shopping, cooking. getting gifts made/wrapped and ensuring everything is done on time, I have been through the beginning of a grueling journey with my mother. A journey I have been on before, and must go on once again.
My mother (who is my rock and my best friend) was diagnosed with Cancer. She is ONLY 54. We all know cancer has no age, no prejudice. It can happen to anyone, anytime.
She has already undergone so many various painful tests, seen innumerable doctors, and now we arrive at the beginning of this new journey. The journey and fight of her life.
I have many feeling about this. First and foremost I trust God. I am at peace with the path we are lead on so far because I know God has a plan for her. I know in my heart she will be healed. I have faith that he will see her through this.
All that being said, my added lack of posting has had more substance than you all knew. If by my initial statement that I made a few weeks ago, with NOT having a complete December Release, that I wanted to take some time off this holiday to catch up on things and make the most of this time with my family, has put some of you off, I’m sorry you feel that way, but I make no apologies for keeping my priorities where they need to be first-and that is my FAMILY.
Family is ALWAYS my top priority, and I am doing by best to balance it all.
I will not let my drive to succeed, doing what I love, ever overshadow what is most important in this world, and that is my FAMILY. I want to keep the primary focus of my life on my family, always. I am a wife, mother, and daughter first.
I don’t only care about papercrafting and/or making money. My first job is my family. This business is a way for me to share what I love to do with others, and enhance their creativity too. I enjoy it, and am thankful to be able to do what I love. While my customers/reader/friends (near, far and cyberlike) are important to me, keeping focus on my family is as well.
I have a store and gallery full of inspiring ideas from myself and my team if people need some inspiration. My team has been a huge help and will provide lot’s of inspiration. I will do my best to continue with expanding my company, as time allows, but ONLY as it doesn’t interfere with what is most important.
I WILL be having a January Release, projects beginning January 1st, and probably a February one too (as I have worked months in advance on all of this) , however I will only spend as much time as I can, without sacrificing family, doing so until the journey with my mother is complete. Until she is healed of this ugly Cancer.
Thank you for letting me share what is going on.
Happy Holidays to you yours, and may you all have a safe, & healthy New Year!
Tomorrow (or today depending when you read) we finally close the deal on our old house, and we celebrate the joy of having our new house!
It seems so surreal. This is the house Jason and I drooled over 2 years ago! Now WE actually live in it! God is good. It’s like it waited for us to be ready.
So here is a photo slide-show!
|Create your own free slideshow design|
I’m so blessed and so happy to have our new home, where we can happily raise our family, and grow old.
It's not the most fancy or elaborate house in the world but it is HOME for us :D We aren't over the top kinda people. I don't need a bajillion rooms and everything else that goes with it.
While it's been unpacked for a little while, I still have the finishing touches to make. We also have a ton to clean up! Like our yard! Right now we have tons of trash, and furniture to sort out/give away! Our neighbors must be in a PANIC over the state of the OUTSIDE of our home! Hence no YARD photos yet! But we love our street, and our huge yard for the kids and the dog. I feel happy and safe here. The kids LOVE it.
I still have the stamp room to complete and the garage to sort out, but it will all get done soon enough.
I already love it here. It really feels like home to me.
Thanks for letting me share it with you!
I have 4 amazing announcements! Given the last 2 weeks I’ve had it is wonderful to be able to say that!
1) We are home!!
One thing I can say is my life is ever ANYTHING but BORING or DULL!!
Alexa is home and looks amazing, just in time for her 11th birthday!!
No one really had any idea how bleak the situation was just a week ago. I have to shout it from the roof tops that Alexa was truly healed by God, once again.
It is truly a miracle by God’s hands, because the doctors told us they didn’t think she’d pull through this. Nor did they anticpate she do so, and so quickly. It was anticipated she’d get worse, before better, and they weren’t giving me anything to hold on to. They were playing this second by second. It was definitely THE scariest time for me because they always TRY to give you a positive statement, and this time they had none. Obviously as her mom, I had to refuse to believe that, and remind myself she has a purpose in this world. Alexa IS a fighter. She is truly the strongest person I know, and has touched many lives.
I prayed like never before, and reminded God of his promise to me years ago (read Alexa’s story), when I know he actually spoke to me. At that time, he promised me Alexa would be taken care of by him. That she was his child and I needed to keep my trust and faith in him. I was told “Do not believe the words of man”, but the promise of him.
He often brings me to knees, and reminds me of his power, and unending love. Alexa has been a walking testiment since before birth, and had the eyes of every person she came in contact with during this time, in disbelief of her recovery. We do have some possible complications that can arrise, but we are being both cautious and hopeful.
MORE happy news!!!
2) Tomorrow Alexa turns 11!! What a celebration of life that will be for me! I can’t even get into it, because I am still quite emotional about everything.
3) Im over the moon to say OUR HOUSE SOLD!!!
We priced it to sell and it did within one month!! With this market that is a true miracle. All our hard work and prayers paid off. The inspection is tomorrow (on Alexa’s birthday) and we fully expect everything to go well! Our house is all newly renovated/updated and everything looks good, so I think it will be OK. The family buying it is expecting thier first baby soon too! Our home is perfect for them 😀 I have a very good feeling about everything.
4) The today we heard back from the bank that they accepted the offer on our DREAM HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we are closing on that house the end of October!! I can’t even wait. We have 4 bedrooms so each child will have their own space! We have an amazing yard, and amazing neighbors. We couldn’t feel more blessed. The house is perfection. Everything I had on my wishlist 😀
So needless to say things are really looking up! I feel so blessed because everything seemed to all fall apart, thenin the same turn suddenly all fall into place, just like it was all in God’s hands!
I will admit it was hard dealing with house negotations while Alexa was in the hospital. I am a control freak about that stuff, and God really showed me what was important, and again to trust in him, and what is meant to be, will be! We just prayed about everything, and handed it over to him.
Well thanks for letting me share all the good. Its nice to be able to return with so many positive things to announce! I hate when things are ALL negative.
LASTLY the October Release peeks begin tomorrow!
I have busted my HINEY to get my projects completed and blog posting/samples done. So please keep that in miund this release! It was/is very difficult for me to swing everything and I’ve done my best to be SUPER WOMAN! LOL!
So I hope you enjoy!
I’m excited for today’s project-once again! I hope you are all stock piling the amazing projects and gift ideas! What is there to NOT be excited about. I think we all love a dose of daily inspiration rigth?
Today’s peek is from Pam Imholz!
Here is what Pam had to say:
Lauren’s newest Pucker Up is one template that will quickly go on your must have list. Goes together easy-peasy, especially if you let the fabulous designer papers do part of the work for you
Be sure you stop by and see what Pam has to share!
Now it is my turn!
This is a very special gift for my son Noah.
(sorry I didn’t get a photo of it inside. I had I all could do for my son to let me have it long enough to photograph!)
I wanted to do something special to let him know how proud I am of him and that I think he is SUPER just the way he is!
The part in orange is WHY I am giving this to him. It is family related, so feel free to move past it if you wish to hear solely about the project.
I can tell you that my son Noah has had some medical issues the last few months. I contemplated sharing this but maybe some of you can relate! He began “ticking” around Christmas (come to find out it has been longer just not in such an obvious manner). It is anxiety/stress related. He begins blinking repeatedly. Sometimes to a point where you wonder if he can even SEE! This was very upsetting for me to witness and all I wanted to was to help Noah.
We have been working with neurologists, our pediatrician and the school to help him develope more confidence and coping straegies for any stressful situations and to build his confidence (another reason for our garden!) I honestly didn’t want to just throw him on some pills, but teach him HOW to deal with his feelings, and learn it is OK to get upset. The use of stress balls have REALLY helped!! We have also started him with s pecail counselor to help him with anxiety reducing strategies, games and confidence builders. Also ways to work out what stresses him out and why, and to help him realize “it’s OK to make mistakes”. While I’m not sure WHERE all the low confidence and need for perfection came in to play, as we are very encouraging parents, we are doing our best to help alleviate these feelings for Noah.
He has some areas where he feels he needs to be perfect, and that holds him back. He doesn’t like to make mistakes and this affects him DAILY. He like to always be the best at everything (wondering where he gets this from! LOL!). A lot for a little kid to take on. I often wonder how much our family situation with Alexa getting cancer, played into this. He had to become the “big boy” and care for his sisters. I was often SO focused on Alexa (even before the cancer) and her future that he somehow slipped through the cracks. That is a lot of guilt for another day, let me tell you! With Amber I had more time because the other 2 were in school, so she seems to excel in every aspect (see another reason I feel guilty about Noah!) I wasn’t home for like 9 months when Alexa got sick, so I missed a lot with him. AHHH! Anyway, I am doing everything I can to help Noah deal with daily feelings he has. Since he is aware of the ticking, as are his teachers it is easy for him and us to know he is getting upset and he needs to do something to help himself (or we help him work it out). He always received lots of praise and encouragement but he needs a little bit more these days. He is doing MUCH better than he was around the holidays since we figured all this out. Noah has many of the same issues myself and my mother’s side has with needing things a certain way and whatnot so I understand how he feels. It is quite possible he will outgrow this, and as I said as he get more comfortable with dealing with things, it has already significantly decreased! I hope to continue this journey “med free”. It is working so far. Granted it is “work” but that is part of being parents right 😀 He is working hard and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
Please note: I want people to know I personally have nothing against medication. I think these things vary case by case and family to family. I am just sharing what we are personally experiencing and trying. Each person needs to do what is best for thier own family. If we found that is what Noah needed to help him then we would do that. So far we are able to be helped without it.
One thing Noah LOVES is music! He is forever singing! So as a gift for all his hard work, in all aspects of his life, I bought him a MP3 Player, and we included a card to get some music for him to download! I thought this could be an additional fun way to de-stress for him too!
Now back to the gift set….
Reach for the stars
How cute is this?
With the release of the Boxed Lunch ©, many of you saw my girly rainbow one, and many pondered if the Lunch Box Love Notes & Additions © stamp set and Boxed Lunch © template would favor a gift for a boy. Well I hope this gift I made opens the flood gates of possibilities and ideas! (I will have another masculine sample soon too :D)
I used the heart version of the Lunch Box Covers © for my front panel! I had “cut out the heart, then layered the star on instead! I used the Lunch Box Love Notes & Additions © Digital set to make my Super! Star center image! (digitally colored too!)I was able to layer it on no problem. I printed the star twice, so I could have it be 3D! I then layered some additional papers to the panels to tie it into my card design.
I stampes the sentiment: Reach for the stars from the Lunch Box Love Notes Additions © set.
My template base was created using Rain Drop cardstock.
For my lid I printed the Alphabet Soup Collection 1, then created the lid! I printed a notepad piece of paper for the decorative layer on the lid and another of the decorative panel too! It is SO fun and easy peasy!
Now there are perfect cardstock handle pieces that come with this, but I wanted to share some options, so for this I just used some ribbon and brads!
The large button had a graph like pattern that is in my designer paper too! A perfect match! So I added that to appear to be my “closure”. This template stays closed on its own, but it is so fun to add stuff!
Now for the card
All the same papers and elements!
I used the Lunch Box Love Notes & Additions © on my card 😀 I so love this set! I layered the cut lunchbox onto the panel of cardstock strips. The cover again is the heart from the set. I stamped the star image, cut it out, and layered it over the heart! So I was able to use the pattern, but not have to use the actual heart image.
I love the notepad paper. The sentiment reads: I’m so proud of you! Sorry it got washed out by the lighting
I just love that! This is a great boy themed card/gift set.
This is a set I will turn to over and over all year long!
Pretty Impressions © Stamps- Lunch Box Love Notes © & Additions (scrylic & digital)
Pretty Printables © Digital Paper- Lunch Box Cover, Alphabet Soup 1 & 2, Get Graphic Collection 2, and School Ruled
Cardstock by Couture Cardstock: OSW White, Apple Cider, Acorn Squash, and Rain Drop
Buttons & stick pins by SEI, Ribbon by May Arts, Copic Markers, Stapler
Once again thank you for stopping by.
There is still more to come (I know! Can you believe it?), and you won’t want to miss anything! So come back tomorrow for even more gift/card ideas 😀
Well this weekend was the first day of Spring. I spent it SPRING CLEANING! Every room of my house, top to bottom. Reorganizing, purging (I loathe clutter) washing baseboards, curtains, carpets….you name it. If it stood still long enough, it got cleaned top to bottom. To add the the cleaning frenzy I also got some new bedding, new curtains, and a totally new look!
I’m going to be 32 this May. I can’t even believe I just typed that! I’m a little freaked out by how fast time is flying past me. I remember being 22 and my mom saying “Make sure you put moisturizer on your skin! You should start preventing wrinkles now before you get them!” Now here I am 10 years later, almost 32, and worrying about wrinkles! I also got WICKED freaked out because I found a gray hair! I tried to convince myself that it was really a blond hair (in the middle front of my head) but given my “root” color I don’t think I have a natural blond hair left on my head (even though I was very blond as a girl). Well you that gray hair is like a RAT! You may only SEE one, but that means there is 50 you CAN’T see!!!
Anyway…..I called the hairdresser immediately to get that hair colored! No way will I ever have a head of gray hair. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, but for me, I’m so not embracing that part of getting older, at least not ANY time soon. I suddenly felt very old, and frumpy, like time was going quicker than I could process.
My poor husband just stood by in panic this weekend as I cleaned every crevice of our home, making changes or noting changes I hope to make…….as he says he is awaiting for me to pack his bags and get a replacement!
Well there is NO replacement for him. He is my very best friend and a wonderful husband and father. I can’t imagine such a thing-ever. My plan is to grow old with him, just not look so old doing it!
Anyway, I went to the hairdresser and saw one of the girls in there with the hair I have been wanting for some time. A girl on my soap operas I watch has it too (HAHAHA) and I have put off ever considering it till that gray hair! I’ve always had long blond, curly hair, until one recent “episode” (You can read that here if you missed it). Now that my hair is shorter I figured why not get a cut I always admired but never thought I would get?
So here it is-my new look for Spring and at age (almost 32)
SHORT,FRESH and SPRING!
OK it is REALLY hard to get a photo of yourself! LOL! I always hate doing that. Also this was in my bathroom which has “stage” lighting! That is where I saw my gray hair. The lighting isn’t overly kind, but its a dark gloomy day so this was my only option for photographing my latest endeavor!
It falls just under my CHIN! My hair has never been this short in my life, but I’m really happy with it! The hairdresser was nervous because she knows my “hair history”, but I was in just the right mood. Plus it is all really healthy now too.
I love how free it feels.
(this is the in the mirror shot!)
Here is a terrible glaring photo but it sorts gives you an idea of how it falls.
I called Jay on my way home to “warn” him about what I did. He was expecting me to go back to blond…and let it grow long again. Um nope!
When I walked in the door he turned WHITE. I don’t think he likes it at all. All he could say was “I know you warned me but I didn’t really expect THAT!” He went on to say ” Are you OK? I’m not getting replaced am I? I’m getting scared!” I just giggled at him. Why on earth would he think such crazy thoughts?!
I explained my fears about getting old and needing to feel better. I think (hope) he gets it. As the night went on he just kept looking at me saying “I think I like it. I think I’m getting use to it” He is a sweet liar! LOL! I know he is in shock still.
This is the back of my head
It just layers so perfectly and has such great health, shine and body to it! We were able to get rid of any damaged hair this round.
Because I have naturally curly hair (and have been straightening it for the last few months due to lack luster curl) it really holds the body and layers nicely with little to no effort.
I am getting some highlights in a few weeks, I only had so much time to spend at the salon!
I’m not sure if I look younger or older with my hair like this, but I think when you feel good you look good, so I am going with that! I’ve also gotten back into exercising more vigorously now that summer is upon us so that makes me feel better too.
Anyway, just had to share my big changes that the warm weather brought in.
How about you? Anything new?
One thing I have learned is that time waits for no one. Do not put your dreams off until tomorrow. Live your life today, to the fullest. Have no regrets. One of the worst things you can do, is to NOT do anything! To say someday “I should have”, when you didn’t. I don’t ever want to be that person, wondering “what if”.
I am always re-evaluating my life, and setting new goals for myself. As the new year approaches, like always, I started to reflect on where I have been, where I am, and where I want to be. With that reflection, it has come time for me to make some major life changes.
Like the caterpillar who morphs into the butterfly, the change isn’t quick, nor is it easy, but it is necessary, because the caterpillar is meant to be a butterfly, and in the end, the result is beautiful.
It is now my time for change. To make my dreams take flight.
That dream was having my own store for all my template creations, with coordinating stamps and digital papers!
I wanted to continue my passion for sharing what I love with the world, and make it easy and affordable!
While the idea of going on my own is scary, it is the next logical step for me. I have been doing this for some time, and I feel very ready to take the next step in my journey.
I am excited to announce that I am now opening my own online store called My Time Made Easy © LLC <—CLICK IT!!!
My Time Made Easy © LLC is going to provide you with the basics for creating your own coordinating handmade cards, tags, and gift packaging in no time. It is fun, affordable, and we made it easier than ever! I have always said that it really is all about the TOTAL package. Now you can afford to create and dress up the simplest of gifts on your own, and make them appear to be that much more special. Nothing says love like something handmade.
I am now able to offer all the things I have always dreamed of as a customer, and share them with the world!
Our goal is coordinating products with some instant gratification! No more drooling for days over projects you have to wait to buy supplies for! You can purchase our products upon first glance, with all the eye candy to follow.
Here is what we will offer:
* Easy to assemble templates for all your gift giving needs!
My ultimate dream come true!
All my NEW! My Time Made Easy © templates will be offered in the following formats:
* PDF – for those of you with home printers! An easy option for everyone!!
* .SVG files– compatible with Provocraft Cricut Personal, Cricut Expression & Cricut Create
*The Cricut series cannot cut 3rd party shapes unless extra software is purchased. To enable the ability to cut 3rd party shapes, you must buy and install Craft Edge’s Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) software. This will allow the Cricut to cut files in the SVG format. This software dramatically changes the utility of the Cricut machines. It should be the first addition to anyone’s Cricut machine!
* .GSD file– compatible with Xyron Wishblade, Quickutz Shilouette, Graphtec CraftROBO (although due to size restrictions of this machine some templates may be smaller than other actual versions)
Graphtec CraftROBO. This machine is also sold as the following: Xyron Wishblade and the Quickutz Silhouette. These machines natively use the GSD format but can easily import the DXF format. No additional software is required.
* .DXF file– Pazzles Creative Cutter Inspiration, Klic N Kut Element , Groove and Maxx
These machines can cut both the PDF and DXF formats. Their native format is a proprietary format called KNK To summarize: Here are the most common home cutting machines and the suggested format to cut My Time Made Easy templates: Cricut machines: (Must buy SCAL software): SVGCraftROBO machines (including Wishblade and Silhouette): GSDKlic N Kut Series: DXF
These are an instant download, so you can start creating in minutes!
For ONE low price you can make so many gifts for everyone on your list!
Our template files are priced at only $5. You get UNLIMITED use from the template download.
Each file includes step by step, detailed photo instructions.
On the day of our product release, our design team will instantly provide 7 sample ideas using the template with a coordinating card/gift item. You will be able to instantly view these projects in our gallery upon the product release. In the days following our release, more project ideas will follow (about 2 a day for the following week), leading to a minimum of 21 different ideas!
For those of you with personal cutters the My Time Made Easy © templates could NOT be any easier!
* Top quality photopolymer (clear) stamps!
Yes! I finally took the plunge and designed some images I think you will adore! I am always open to suggestions too (wink). The idea is to have images that coordinate with our gift packaging templates, but are also versatile for cards, tags, embellishing gift items, and scrapbook pages!
My ultimate dream has been to offer this option!
I am so proud to announce that we went to the BEST for producing our images! This company is used by all the top companies, and now we are part of that lineup! You can have the best quality images for an affordable price!
Our images are ready to use! They are packaged on 4 X 6 acrylic sheets, with the images/stamp set name printed onto the acetate sheets you store them on.
They arrive in a 4 X 8 clear bag, with a hanger tag. This allows you to store it using the hanger, or you can sort into a box of your choice ( I use pretty shoe-boxes :D), Clip it up! or whatever other option that you prefer. By keeping our cost down we keep your cost down! Plus with the many methods of storing stamps, the choice is all yours. I will have actual photos of our packaging soon!
I will be shipping our stamps all over the world, and for an affordable price! No more high shipping. You pay whatever it costs us to ship to you!
*Coordinating digital papers!
Another instant download!
All our patterned paper is 300 ppi and delivered in a zip file so you can download it and print it right from home.
Each digital page is saved as a jpeg which allows you to easily resize it for your cardstock size!Now printing 6 X 6, 8 X 8, 8 1/2 X 11 or 12 X 12-is NO problem! Now you can have patterns in your favorite sizes for any project.
All our patterned paper is designed to coordinate with our stamp images. This makes creating even easier.
We are also offering a collection with each download called the “Color Me” collection. These are patterns designed with the idea that you can use them as is, or get out those Copics (or other coloring medium of choice) and custom color them to fit your project!
Use our black and white patterns to print on ANY color cardstock you have on hand for instant easy patterned paper in a rainbow of possibilities!
You can make your own double sided patterned paper, and of course use it for our My Time Made Easy © templates!
Now you get and endless supply of pretty patterned paper for ONE low price!
No more running out of a pattern, or feeling like you have to hoard your favorite pieces!
Our pricing will be at only 0.50 cents a sheet! UNLIMITED USE!! That is a fab deal. So our collection costs will range according to the number of designs offered. VERY affordable.
We have worked hard to ensure the colors in our collection of digital papers come close to those you may already have in your ever building collection of cardstock, and ink. That will make matching up easy.
Our goal is not to overwhelm you, or your wallet each month! I really want to keep our focus on affordability, ease, and coordination! So each month we will be releasing an amazing template, one stamp set (sometimes a coordinating sentiment additions set), and of course our coordinating digital paper.
While we remain “under construction” until our official first release, you are able to sign up for our newsletter! This will allow you to stay up to date on what is happening, and be with us when everything is ready to go! Also sometime in December I will be posting a FREE template (or tow :D). You will definitely want to know when that happens.
The official opening is anticipated for January 1, 2010! A great way to ring in the new year! I also want to ensure everything is PERFECT!!
Many of you have been wondering WHY I have been so consumed by “other” things the last couple of months. Well, as you can see I have had so much going on to get this all started. I did my best to keep up with everything else in my life, but beginning a company is no easy feat. It was far more involved than I even anticipated, but well worth every obstacle.
As you can imagine this is a very exciting time in my life! This is the first step, in a journey to accomplishing my biggest dream! I will continue to give 200% of myself to this venture, and make this company one to be proud of. Thank you for allowing me to share my excitement for such an event. I don’t really think there are words that can truly convey how I feel inside. I want you all to know that the excitement, inspiration and support you have offered me at many points in my life, have meant the world to me, and I hope to offer you the same in return.
Thank you for letting me share yet another piece of my life, and dreams with the world.
Now in order for me to make this dream a reality I have resigned from my position at Papertrey Ink. This is effective today. The very talented Betsy Veldman will be stepping up, in my place. She is an amazing talent and a perfect fit for Senior team! I wish her the very best!
Now you may ask yourself “What does this mean for the My Timeless Templates ©?” . With my resignation also comes the dissolution of the release of any further My Timeless Templates ©. To my knowledge, the current My Timeless Templates © will remain for sale at Papertrey Ink. For any further questions I would direct you to ask the owners of Papertrey Ink.
I have grown and changed so much since my beginning there. As I leave, I am thankful, and proud to have been a part of their growth in this industry.
All those moments, have now lead me to this moment. The moment where it is time for me to do what I have always dreamed of doing!
NOTE: this is an ALL family post, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to skip it. I am really happy with the way things went so I’m sharing it!
Well I DID it! I was able to accomplish my goal of getting our family (Christmas) photos done BEFORE Halloween!!! Last time we had our photos done I did this, and SWORE I would always go before Halloween. The problem is the time creeps up on you, and this was already a busy week. BUT I made it a priority, and we got it done! Gotta love the TO DO list 😀
Also if you kids are a wee bit older, you can ask for a later evening time to ensure you are in and out. Most younger kids are in bed! If you go during the day it can be busy with babies and toddlers, so keep that in mond. I’m by no means a photographer, and don’t know if this is all exzsctly true, but it is my personl expierienc as a parent, from getting my children’s photos over the last DECADE!
Going before Halloween is so much less busy, there are good deals, and you get your stuff MUCH quicker!! People aren’t thinking CHRISTMAS yet!
The DOWNSIDE to going BEFORE Halloween is you can’t get any Christmas backgrounds, so if that is your THING then you will want to wait! I didn’t want a Christmas themed bkgd since these are going on my walls, so I just dressed us in cheery holidayish colors!
Photo Tips:Now they tell you keep clothing SOLID, darker colors are best, and LONG sleeves, so it doesn’t distract from your face!
SO for the first time we gave Target a try! I have to say I was impressed!
We had a coupon and paid no sitting fee, only $3.99 a sheet and got a FREE 8 X 10 !
Funny thing happened: When I was picking out photos I kept saying “I’ll take that in 81/2 X 11”-and the woman was like “You mean 8 X 10? ” I’d say “Yeah that is what I meant!”, then I’d do it again. I had to apologize and tell her I kept thinking about cardstock sizes and that is ALWAYS the measurement that pops into my head! LOL!
With the coupons we saved $150!! We ended up buying like $130 worth of photos! LOL! So we saved more than we spent, and given the fact we haven’t had photos done in like 2 years that isn’t bad at all! All I know is if Jay doesn’t have a heart attack, its a good deal!
The camera was a Nikon like mine! I kept telling Jay I NEED that lens she had for Christmas! LOL!
Another PLUS: For ONLY $4.99 you can buy the online service that allows you to legally share your photos online, email them to family/friends, post them as your screensaver…..all sorts of stuff, which is nice!
Now I am going to share ALL my photos here (legally!) I have to admit it was REALLY weird seeing myself with DARK SHORT hair! It looked really nice when we left the house, but it was raining (GRR!) and they had NO mirror! Oh well. The kids looked good, so that is all that matters.
Since the kids are all older it went really well. OH! That and we did promise them each a box of candy if they cooperated! I’ll be honest, with three kids I am NOT above bribery!! A mom has to do, what a mom has to do! Plus we don’t celebrate Halloween, so they won’t be getting loads of candy this weekend.
So without further delay here we go!
Family Photo 1
Jay & Noah have the SAME sweater on! Amber and Alexa are dressed the same too. I always like to make them match!
Me, Im just in a black shirt. Trying to blend!
Family Photo 2
Family Photo 3
OK so I think this was the one we got for our Christmas cards and Im totally kickin myself! I loved the one just above this! GRR! It was HARD to see on their screen and they couldn’t put them side by side. Once I got home and could access them online I saw I liked the one above this! Oh well.
I’m going to call anyway this morning and see if we can change it. EEK!
Family Photo 4
I liked this one, but wasn’t a fan of us on our knees. We look strange! Maybe if we CROP it!
I thought this one was SOOOOO cute! The kids got a kick out of it too.
The woman said it should be our Christmas card, but I want people to SEE the kids faces, and NOT gross them out too! LOL!
Jay & I
Who is that with my husband! LOL!
It isn’t often we have a photo of Jay and I
Now we have our trio
Then this is where they try to make you go for broke……..
This would be $30!! Thankfully I wasn’t a fan of the framed images, and heck, I am creative, I can make my own collage!
Here is Alexa
I LOVED this photo of her. I was really proud of her that she smiled and kept her chin up! We ONLY got this one close up because the second after this shot was taken, a tear streamed down her face! She is VERY shy and having a stranger in her face made her scared and SAD! Poor girl! So we let her off the hook.
Now we get back to the UP-SELL. The woman saw how much I loved this photo…..
Talk about pulling on mom’s heart strings! I felt bad saying NO! But it gave me a FAB idea for making my own 😀
I love this photo of her because it is a genuine Alexa smile 😀 She is doing so well, I couldn’t feel more blessed.
Now we have Noah
How did he get so OLD? He will be 7 on November 13th! He is a whole head taller than Alexa (who is 10) I can totally see him as a TEEN here! He is in the CHEESY smile phase, but she did a good job getting him to really laugh.
Here is his close up
Love the toothless smile!
Last but not least, Amber
I think she could have just posed and posed forever. The woman suggested I bring her back for her own photo day! LOL!
You can tell she doesn’t feel good in this one. What a cute lil face.
Then her close up….
She actually does this head tilt thing on her own alot when she wants something, so I thought it was really cute.
I really loved ALL the close up photos she did.
I’m not doing School photos since they come out TERRIBLE, cost $15 for ONE sheet, and don’t make your child look good at all. Last year Noah had a FAB smile but they layered him on a NEON blue bkgd! I paid for GRAY she claimed that was the correct color from what I ordered. Apparently SOMEONE is color blind, and I know it isn’t ME! That one just went into the drawer!
SO once these come in I will be changing our frames.
Thanks for letting me ramble on Its not often we get group photos done. I should TRY to go more often. These years REALLY fly by so quickly. Before I know it I will be asking for photos of my grandkids!
Tomorrow I’ll have some eyecandy for you.
Thanks for stopping by.
But it was time for a BIG change!!!! This is me today. I took this just this morning.
Although this was NOT really what I had in mind 😀
Prepare yourself for a story people!
I’m dying to hear what my mom thinks too! I know Im going to hear that I look JUST like her!
I don’t think ANYONE who knows me would recognize me!!! In fact taking the kids to school I got the TRIPLE take! Even the girl at Dunkin Donuts was in shock!
I have ALWAYS been Blond! Until I turned 13! My hair got darker, and I was so upset. My mom let me dye it from then on, so I have never really had dark hair. Well, until now.
I’m not sure WHAT my issue has been lately, but I have been saying I need a change! I’ve still kept up with exercising and take care of myself, and I love getting new clothes, but that hasn’t been enough. I don’t want to look back on photos and see I look the SAME decade after decade!! The dreaded HAIR RUT!
One day I just chopped off 8 inches of my hair. No reason. Just CHOP! I haven’t had short hair since I was 10! Its generally at LEAST a bit past mid back, or longer.
I have had a hard time with my naturally curly hair since my surgery. Its been half straight, half curly and just plain difficult! So I cut it, and have been straightening it these days. OK that is a bit different. Still not anything NEW.
Well, I decided to TRY dying it myself Saturday. No big deal. Been there done that a million times. Something different happened THIS time.
I let it set for 20 minutes. Washed it out. I then took the towel off my head while Jay was in the kitchen cooking, and the LOOK on my husbands face was SCARY!!!!!!! You know men never notice ANYTHING. Well not usually. THIS he noticed. I looked at him puzzled, and said “What is the matter?” He said “Oh my word! Lauren have you SEEN your hair?” So I quickly RAN to the mirror. There I saw it! My hair was BLUE, WHITE and GRAY, you may even say some green!!!!!!!!! HOLY SMOKES!! (OK those weren’t my exact words, but lets just say it was a disaster!) I have NO idea what happened with the dye I used, but apparently my hair was NOT happy with it.
Jay kept saying OH! NO! That is REALLY bad Lauren. What are you going to do? You can’t leave the house! At least no without a HAT! Amber said “Mommy what did you do to your hair, its like a clown!” and she went on to giggle.
I was FREAKIN out. There are no words to say how panicked I was. It was too late to go the a hairdresser. So I waited till Sunday morning and went to the ONLY place open, it was at the mall. I called ahead, and told them my “problem”. She said they could definitely fix it for me. So I put my Hoodie on, and off I went. THANKFULLY the hairstylist is RIGHT near the mall entrance door! So I think I went in virtually unnoticed. HOODIE ON!
I walked in, where there was about 12 people in there. I took the hoodie off and gave her my name. Then everyone just STOPPED. They all looked at me in horror! Now THAT had me even more panicked! I said “Please tell me you have seen something like this before!” The girl at the counter said “Something like that, but not that bad. Oh boy! This is going to be a while” By now I’m about to CRY. Especially when MY hairdresser comes to me and her hair is an inch long and FLUORESCENT GREEN. I said “OK I don’t mean to be rude, or judgemental, but would you understand if I was about to freak, that the girl with the green hair was going to help me fix mine?” She laughed and said, Honestly I’m their best colorist, and I will get you all fixed up. Promise.
So trusting her with my hair, I got in the chair. I mean honestly could it get ANY worse? She said my hair had like 8 colors in it.
I guess the dye damaged my hair in the process (it was ONLY on 20 minutes!!) and they wanted to cut it up to my CHIN. Uh! NO!!! That can’t happen. So we cut it to just below my shoulders and did some layering. I have to say I LOVE the cut! It feels FABULOUS and is SO much easier to work with. I can curl the layers under and it just bounces. Feels good.
The process took 4 1/2 hours between “filling” , conditioning and redying like two or three times (I lost count).
The PROBLEM was they had to dye my hair as DARK as I would allow. They wanted to go alot darker, but I couldn’t do it. So now I have what I THINK you’d call chestnut kind of hair! I have to wait 4 weeks before we can highlight it. Its REALLY strange seeing myself in the mirror or anytime my hair falls within my view.
I wanted a change so I guess I got it! LOL! I am really happy with the cut for sure. The dark hair is going to take some time. I go back in 4 weeks, so I’ll keep you updated. I guess my advice would be DON’T dye your hair yourself!! Pay the $$ to have it done right the first time.
Could be worse. My hair could have broken off.
On a another note:
Alexa is doing very well. The Tamiflu and Zithromax have really helped. We definitely caught it just in time. I’m keeping her home this week, just to be safe for her, and for other people’s children. She doesn’t have the best immune system so I don’t want to throw her back into the germ infested school before she recovers from what she already has.
I want to thank you ALL for the wonderful comments and prayers. They help us a lot.
I’ll have some eye candy tomorrow. I’ve just been OBVIOUSLY busy with my family and hair drama!
Thanks for stopping by 😀
This face looks sweet doesn’t it?
YEAH! Can you say OH! MY! WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The SHOCK! The HORROR!
Did a tornado of stickers whip though Manchester St while I was asleep?!
Um, no-just Noah, being what he calls “creative”.
I have a touch OCD, and it has gotten MUCH better over the years. BUT, my kids bedrooms drive me INSANE!! I spend so much time cleaning and decorating them, to have it all destroyed in an hour. I make them clean up every night before bed, but its never really what I’d call CLEAN. It totally stresses me out, and I KNOW there are MORE important things to life than stressing about the toy bomb that went off in their room’s daily. That being said, that is why I limit myself from looking at them!
So as I TRY to avoid going and checking too often, after ONE week, this is what I get.
Now-I didn’t edit ALL the photos but this goes around ALL 4 walls!!! Floor to ceiling.
When I saw it I didn’t even KNOW what to say!
Noah said “Doesn’t my room look awesome! I decorated it all by myself!”
I just stuttered a bit at first, then asked “WHY did you do that to your walls?”
He said “Mom, its all my pictures I made, just like you put on the fridge, and all your cards and stuff in your stamp room, this is my room. Can’t I do what I want in my room?
(I didn’t say it out loud but I thought NO!)
I asked how long he planned on keeping it like that, and he said “forever”.
My honest first thought, when I saw it was when police go into a serial killers homes, and there are TONS of newspaper clipping and stuff ALL over the walls-well this is the 6 year old version! LOL!!!
Is there such a thing as letting your children have TOO much creative liberty? I mean seriously , where do we draw the line between expressing yourself and um,……. that?
Then I felt awful for thinking such stuff. I wanted to take down every sticker and picture, and go back to the clean walls. He had a LITTLE point, but I think this was overkill!
Now me, being into papercrafts myself, I encourage my own children to be creative. I think that I need to set some boundaries though because Noah has decided to save MOST of every page he
I bought a binder and told him he can put all his pictures in the binder, and that he can keep 6 pictures up at a time (one for each year of his life! LOL!).
OYE! I think I will be checking the room situation more often now!
Now that it is all said and done (as this happened back in May-I just forgot to share it) it is rather AMUSING, but at the time, not so much!
Now its your turn to share something SHOCKING you or your children did!
I have one more story-about myself.
When I was 6, my neighbor got a shiny new black sports car!
I don’t know WHAT possessed me, but I found a rusty nail on the ground. I then decided I would draw (OK Scratch into the paint) a HUGE whale, with water coming out its spout, with my NAME-Lauren, written on top of the spout!
I KNEW when I did it, that it was bad, and I had no idea WHY I did it. I also don’t know why I was so insane to scratch the PROOF I did it, by writing my name! I was a very sweet girl and my brother would have gotten blamed for SURE if I hadn’t “signed” my art work!
Needless to say it was going to cost my mom several hundred dollars (which we didn’t have ANY money) to have the woman’s car re-painted! The woman loved me and I cried a river over it. She felt bad, and decided to NOT make my mom pay for it. If I met her again today I would apologize profusely and thank her for doing that for my poor mom. She was so embarssed and upset I would do that. I can totally understand why.
I don’t think I ever did anything remotely close to that horrible again!
Now its your turn!
This is my INSANE week. Not only do I have template stuff to do, but other design deadlines-END OF YEAR teacher stuff, and my kids have all sorts of field trips and after school social events. So I’m just plain ole busy.I got something very exciting in the mail yesterday!! Wait till you see.
You know how much I LOVE personalization and gifts like that right? Its seriously an addiction.
Well Upon GOGGLING such items, I found this UBER cool site called Bags of Love
After spending forever there I decided I HAD to have THIS make up bag
BIGGEST Dilemma: WHAT photo to use. I wanted all of my family on there so I used our Christmas photo. We don’t get many FAMILY photos. Let alone including our sweet dog Daisy 😀
This is what it looked like-
I about bounced off the wall with excitement! I was just over the moon. It looks great, and the photo is a very soft, satinish kind of feel. LOVE IT.
I went with the tan since it would match like everything I buy.
I now want MORE stuff 😀 I’m thinking tote bags for Alexa, Amber and Noah with their photos! I may even ask about scanning their art work onto a bag, and sending that in for them use in place of a photo 😀 Now that is cool!!
I was on the hunt for a cool makeup bag that would match everything! Now I needed one that would carry me for some time, because every time I get a new handbag- I get a new wallet, check book cover, makeup bag etc. I end up spending a ton of money with each Vera Bradley purchase! LOL! Now I have one that makes me smile every-time I look at it.
Plus it fits everything perfectly.
Sooooooo, on the 29th I ordered that makeup bag, and it arrived on my doorstep on the 3rd! HOLY SPEEDY!
Just HAD to share my fun find with ya!! I’m thinking they’d make great gifts too.
The photo looks really good on there too. Honestly I was a littler leery to order, thinking it may be crappy, maybe the photo wouldn’t be good, so I didn’t spend a fortune. Now I’m wishing I got more. The quality and feel was super. Well made, not CHINCY. Im quite happy it . Their delivery time was right on. Im especially surprised since they are coming from the UK!
I’m in love with Bags of Love! LOL!
Anywho…..now for some other eye-candy.
Stampavie had a Sketch Challenge that no only was I late for, but I obviously can’t follow other peoples sketches very well! I somehow veer off and just do my own thing in one way or another. OH! WELL! It was a start it this creation:
Are you familiar with the book :Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBrateny?
Its Amber’s favorite, and I always get teary reading it. Its definitely a MUST HAVE book for the family.
Well its about a mommy bunny and her baby bunny, and as they walk through the forest they talk back and forth. The theme for each page is Guess how much I love you? Then they go through and say how much, each time one out does the other.
In the end he goes through and says I love you all the way to the moon and back, as the little one falls asleep in the mommy’s arms. Its so sweet.
Well, Amber says to me-about a literal 20 times a day -randomly
“Mommy Guess what?!”
You wanna know how much I love you?
I say “How much? This much (and I make a tiny amount with my 2 fingers)?
She says “NO! I love you THIS much (and stretches her arms as long as they will reach) and to the moon an back! And when I get bigger, I’ll love you even bigger.”
Then she takes her hugely (yet little) stretched arms and wraps them around me with a big squeeze.
AWE! That melts my heart, and no matter what is going on, in that moment, I just stop and enjoy the squeeze at my legs. Its the best feeling in the world. I know this won’t last forever, so I am just cherishing it.
So I made her this card-so we will always remember this time (I HOPE!)
The bunny image is Rachelle Anne Miller Hoppy Spring
So that is that!
Thanks for stopping by.
Im going to bed. (I HOPE!)