Monday, December 31, 2012

December Daily: Dec 30

Hi everyone :)

2013 is just around the corner and tonight Toby and I are going to a Jimmy Buffett party at Keith and Loreen’s!  We’re really looking forward to it… I’ve got my ‘loud and proud’ Hawaiian shirt organised thanks to Mum and I’m going to get busy in the kitchen making some yummy things to take over for the party.

I’m sure by the end of the night we’ll all be singing ‘Wasting away in Margaritaville’ and having a great time!

Jimmy Buffett singing live

Meanwhile here is my post about yesterday.  Toby and I went through all the photos taken during this week… and there were tons of them!  Project Life is the album where he gets to shine and he’s been getting a bit jealous that Dougal has featured so much in the December Daily… boys and their precious egos LOL

The boys both got upset when I went down to the photo lab because I wouldn’t take either of them.  Despite all the rain it was extremely hot in the car and I wasn’t about to have dehydrated sons on my hands! 

On the way home I called into Bunnings to grab a couple of plastic containers for all our Christmas decorations.  Up until now they’ve been stored in various cardboard boxes but the time has come to get them sorted out.  I also picked out a test pot of paint for the lounge wall.  The first one I chose seemed a bit dark so I thought I’d go with a slightly lighter colour.  I’m looking forward to testing it out!

Here’s the journaling for the day:Dec 30 journal copy_1

When I got home the boys and I carefully took down all the decorations and Dougal helped me wrap them in tissue paper… Toby just loves paper too much to wrap anything… all he wants to do is rip it up!

As we were finishing the phone rang and it was for Dougal!  That’s never happened before… and I wondered how they knew our phone number.  It turns out that while he was on the bus coming home from Grandma’s house he gave EVERYONE our number… Oh Lord!  I’m hoping not to get anymore phone calls!

Anyway, it turns out that one of the people on the bus works for a tourist bus service and they offered Dougal a job as an entertainer on the longer bus trips.  He’s beyond ecstatic!  Last night he was making a list of the things he wants before he heads up to the ‘big smoke’.  Top of his list was a suitcase… what does he think he’s going to put in it???

Here’s the photos for the day:Dec 30 photos copy_1

I’ve gotten so used to having Dougal around over the past month… and I’m going to be sad to see him go off on his travels.  But how can I rain on his parade??  So long as he makes regular visits home I’ll be quite happy.  Actually it might be fun to have someone a little bit ‘famous’ in the family.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)  I hope you all have a wonderful end to the year and that 2013 brings you happiness and joy.

Take care xx

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Project Life: Week 52

Hello again :)

This is the last full week of Project Life for 2012!  I’m going to do the last page with photos taken tomorrow as well as a few ‘filler cards’ for things that have inspired me lately.

Here’s an overview of this week:Full_1

I’ve shared so much this week between my Christmas insert post (HERE) and all my December Daily posts.  The one thing I noticed with my Project Life pages is there’s lots more of Toby in them.

You’ve already seen quite a few photos featured on the left side of my page but there is a better view of my new classroom set up.  It looks quite boring at the moment with just the furniture in there but I can already see that I’m going to have far more room in the classroom than before.

I’ve also included some photos of Toby.  There is one of him trying to see the game Mikayla was playing on her phone and there is one of him standing outside the door on Christmas day while everyone opened their presents.

As much as I love my boy I knew that if he was inside there would be tears from the kids when he tried to nick off with their wrapping paper… Toby LOVES paper!

There is also one of him wearing Mikayla’s Bah Humbug hat from Christmas.  Mikayla has been very ‘Grinch-like’ this Christmas and she popped her hat on top of Toby’s head.  The only problem is that Toby LOVES Christmas so it didn’t last on there long!

Here’s a close up of the left side of the page:Left_1

On the right side there are some more photos of Toby… eating the last of Mikayla’s dinner, getting growled at for the already mentioned behaviour, and of course the ‘jandal’ photo!  He’s rather proud of his jandal destroying skills!

We had Thai takeaways for dinner the other night and I’m a huge fan of Thai prawn green curry.  Love the flavour and have not been able to successfully recreate it at home yet… but I’m getting closer!

I’ve already shared with you that I’m going to do Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project in 2013 but I loved the photo I included in my December Daily so I decided to put it in my Project Life album as well.

You already know that Toby got his nails done yesterday and that he got a treat… but let me tell you he has been going to town on that bone for HOURS and he’s still got heaps left to go on it.  It really is the cheapest ‘baby sitter’ ever!

Here’s the right side of my pages:Right_1

For my creative piece this week I decided to do one last Santa card.  It’s very similar to what I did for my Christmas ATC’s with the Scrapbook Dreams swap.  I created the digital image background in Photoshop and then added a wax seal, the date strip and a Prima poinsettia flower with a little pearl brad.


So that’s been my week… loads of Christmas stuff and family time and of course lots of time spent with Toby!

By the way… Dougal has had some VERY EXCITING news today but I’ll be sharing that with you tomorrow.  He’s giddy with excitement and absolutely can’t sit still!

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow xx

December Daily: Dec 29

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s another cloudy morning here and the rain isn’t far away!  I’m really hoping to get some ‘summer’ very soon!

The boys and I had a pretty good day yesterday.  As well as getting my Log your Memory album all finished we did a little bit of housework.  Well actually I did the housework and Dougal helped a bit with the dusting and Toby spent his whole time trying to save his ‘treasures’ from being put in the rubbish!

I’m still laughing over it today because his latest ‘treasure’ is all the little bits of black rubber he chewed off Mikayla’s jandals… which by the way were fairly new!  I know I shouldn’t laugh but in all honesty… she should learn to put her stuff away!

Two weeks ago I gave her the ‘shape up or ship out’ talk and she’d done fairly well… except that she’s worked most days since so it’s hard to tell if she’s really changed. 

I happened to be watching a movie that Mikayla didn’t want to watch and she went to her room (which is an absolute bombsite and the mess currently reaches almost waist height!)  Not long after she went to her room I noticed that Toby was chewing on something and realised it was one of her jandals.

Now I know that I probably ‘should’ have saved it… and in the past I ‘have’ saved them… but I figured that she’s got to learn the hard way so I left him to it until I finished watching the movie.  By that time he had both straps off and the top and bottom of the sole were looking pretty chomped up.

Mikayla wasn’t impressed with Toby but as I quickly reminded her… it’s up to HER to keep her stuff safe and in her room.  She clearly hasn’t listened because this morning when I came out to the lounge her bag, her purse, her chocolate and her McDonald’s rubbish from dinner are all lying around and she’s left her bottle of orange juice on the coffee table!

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 29 journal copy_1

The boys and I went to Barkers Park in the afternoon and Toby rushed straight up to Kelly for a treat.  Apart from the treats, he actually really loves Kelly and she’s started to call him ‘Tobes’ which is my little name for him so he figures that she must really love him… and she does!

Toby needed to have his nails cut and this time he was pretty calm about it.  We took him through to the ‘grooming’ room… a first for him… and he was so good.  He didn’t try to fight it and he snuggle right into Kelly while the other lady (don’t know her name) cut his nails.  It was all over in a matter of minutes!

Toby got to choose his treat and as always he went for the biggest bone he could find!  Dougal decided to be ‘Mr Generous’ and pay for the bone with Toby’s loyalty card.  What he didn’t understand was that you can’t ‘pay’ with loyalty cards… but I suppose it was a nice thought.

Here’s the photos for the day:Dec 29 photos copy_1

Last night the boys were quite happy… Toby chomped away on his bone for several hours and Dougal curled up under the Christmas tree for a nap because he knows it’s coming down today.  I think he was dreaming of ‘sparkly things’ because he kept making contented little sighs in his sleep.

So that’s our day… I was going to get washing done today but it doesn’t look like I’ll get it dry so I might have to get organised to go to the laundrette.

Hope you all have a great day xx

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Log your Memory: The final pages and album!

Hello again :)

Well the first of my big projects for the year is done… all completed… finished… and it feels great!  Before I show you the final album I need to share the last two layouts with you.

Week 51

The theme for this week was event calendars, photos from each month, proud accomplishments or favourite layouts.  I decided to do a page about some of my favourite scrapping projects and layouts for this year.

I went through all my layouts and picked out three that I’m really pleased with and then a few projects. 

  • I selected Dandelion Fun because I really love the textures, film strip of photos and the flowers. 
  • The Perfect Breakfast is one of my favourites because it was such an unexpected event and I love that it’s all done in black and white with a colour photo. 
  • The final layout is one I haven’t actually shown on my blog.  It’s actually a layout of my parents wedding back in 1968 and I really love it.  The lace was a wonderful find and everything else kind of grew from there. 
  • The mask is the one I made for the retreat and I love how it turned out!  It now has a space on my craft room wall.
  • Of course I love making mini albums so I’ve included a photo of my Log your Memory album along with my December Daily which is getting really FAT now!
  • I decided to include a photo of my Project Life albums as well because they’ve been such a big part of my life this year and I’m really proud of them.
  • The final spot has been dedicated to a project that Krystal and I are still working on together.  It’s an online album class with Cathy Zielske and Krystal and I are still working on it but I wanted to include our title page.

So here is the layout dedicated to some of my favourites:Week 51

 Week 52

The final prompt for the project was year-end news summaries, gift trend reports, and top 10 lists of music, movies, news events etc.  This particular prompt had me really stumped!  I honestly don’t watch a lot of movies… I’m not a huge fan of the news and I have no idea what’s hot and what’s not… a closer inspection of my wardrobe will tell you that! LOL

However, I did like the idea of a Top 10 list and as I mulled it over I came up with my own top 10… and one that I’m pretty proud of.  I consider myself one of those lucky people who has a great relationship with both my parents… and for very different reasons. 

Mum and I talk almost every day and we’re very close… we don’t always agree on everything but we’ve managed to develop a really deep friendship over the years and I feel lucky to have  her in my life.

Dad on the other hand is my moral compass.  He’s the person I talk to about religion, politics, education and some of those ‘heavier’ subjects.  We DEFINITELY don’t agree on everything and we like to debate issues with each other… or at least I like to debate I’m not entirely sure Dad does!

At 42 I’m proud to say that they’re my parents and I love them both very much.  Now before I go and get too teary eyed I’d better show you my layout:Week 52

As I worked on my layout for this prompt I felt such a deep sense of gratitude for the people in my life.  Many of them have shared laughs and tears with me… they’ve seen me at my best… and some of them have seen me at my worst.  Wherever you are in my Top 10, I hope you know how much you mean to me and that I appreciate you being in my life.

And with that the layouts are done!  I went down to the photo lab today and printed off the last few layouts (8 x 8 size) and came home to put them in my album.  Over the past few months I’ve realised that it was going to need to be re-bound because it’s grown so fat so I pulled it apart and re-bound it and it’s looking amazing.

Here’s the cover:IMG_4713_1

I had to change from black spiral binding to antique because the black ones weren’t big enough.  My finished album is over an inch thick!

Here’s a couple of my favourite pages from the album:IMG_4714_1IMG_4716_1

And here is the final photo so you can see what I mean about it being really thick:IMG_4718_1

So it’s done.  I’ve got a huge sense of accomplishment and I know that this album is going to be important to me for a long time to come.

Thank you so much for coming on the journey with me and for your lovely comments about my layouts during the year.  If you haven’t tried a project like this before, I highly recommend it!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your day xx

December Daily: Dec 28

Hi everyone :)

Well young Mr Dougal is now home safe and sound… and feeling a bit sorry for himself!  He ended up coming back on the bus which I thought might be a bit scary for him but it seems that Dougal always lands on his feet because he LOVED being on the bus!

According to the bus driver he was quite shy when he first got on and there were a few tears because Grandma wasn’t coming with him but then the bus driver started talking to him and the next minute the entertainer in Dougal came out!  He was chatting, telling jokes and even doing little dances in his seat.

The bus driver was so taken with him and ended up giving him his microphone so that Dougal could sing to the whole bus.  It turns out that my wee boy kept everyone on the bus entertained and they were all sorry when he had to get off!  I think it was a bit of a let down to actually come home with me and have a big talk about his behaviour after receiving all the attention he got!  Turns out he’s a natural in the spotlight!

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 28 journal copy_1

This year has been a good one for projects and I’m really pleased that I’ve finished the Log your Memory project… I’ve still got two more layouts to share with you.  I wasn’t sure what kind of project I wanted to do for 2013 but after having a good read through Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class description it felt like the right thing for me so I’ve signed up… paid my money… and now I’ve got the pre-assignment for the class.

During the year I’ll get receiving a new set of tasks, activities and prompts on the first of each month so I’m hoping to make my One Little Word for 2013 much more visible next year. 

This year I chose the word ‘priorities’ and it’s worked for me fairly well.  Just lately the word ‘choices’ keeps coming up and I think it kind of chose me so that’s my word for 2013. 

Since I liked making my scrabble letter ornaments so much I thought I might make a ‘choices’ piece to put on the mantelpiece just to remind myself.  So far all I’ve done is put the tiles on the stand just to see if I like it.

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 28 photos copy_1

Last night the boys were both snuggled up with me and we were just talking about what they’d like to do over the next couple of days and Toby mentioned going to Barkers Park to visit ‘his supermarket’. 

Dougal was quite excited about that idea so they are both on their very best behaviour so that they can go.

Take care and I hope you have a great day xxx

Friday, December 28, 2012

Log your Memory: Weeks 49 and 50

Hello again :)

I’m finally doing a bit of a catch-up with my Log your Memory project.  There’s four prompts left so today I’ve got two of them.  This project will definitely be finished before 2013 begins!!

The theme for the December prompts is ‘Past to Future’.  Thankfully they come with lots of suggestions because I’m finding them a bit challenging to be honest.

Week 49

This week it’s all about having an overview look at 2012.  Some of the suggestions included holiday cards and letters, an annual keepsake or a calendar.  Thankfully for me one of the prompts asked what the most memorable and meaningful events over the past year.

2012 has been a challenging one… it’s also been wonderful.  I’ve learnt so much, grown as a person and made progress in areas I hadn’t anticipated on.

I’ve had a really wonderful year teaching this year and it’s made a huge difference.  Krystal and Mikayla are both moving on in their lives and working out what works for them and Toby and I have a settled and happy home life… most of the time.

Here’s my layout for prompt 49:Week 49

I really wanted to include a lot more photos but these ones certainly do highlight lots of the different areas of my life… and they’ll be fun to look back on later.

Week 50

The prompts for Week 50 included writing a letter to yourself… either yourself in the future or the past.   There is actually a website where you can send yourself an email for a given date in the future.  I haven’t tried it myself but it kind of looks like fun.  Here’s the LINK if you want to take a look.

The prompt that got me though was ‘what would you change’.  I’ve often thought about things I wish I had or hadn’t done… mostly things I wish I hadn’t done… and mostly just after I’d done them! LOL

This morning I got to thinking about what I would change about my life (when you see the word I’ve chosen for One Little Word 2013 you’ll realise why).

The answer is that I really wouldn’t change anything now.  Take for instance the fact that I got married at 19.  If I went back in time and changed that then I wouldn’t have had Krystal and Mikayla and I just can’t imagine my life without them in it. 

Here’s my layout for this prompt:Week 50

There’s too many ‘what ifs’ to go messing around with so to be honest I’d take my life… both the good and the bad… because that’s the reason I am who and where I am today.

I hope you’re all having a great day xx

December Daily: Dec 27

Hi everyone :)

Well Thursday was a day of ups and downs… the ups were great but the downs were both caused by my wee sons getting up to mischief!

I had to go into town this morning but fortunately it had nothing to do with standing in queues… I went to the hairdressers.  For years I used to get Mum to cut my hair for me… especially when I had really short hair… but for the past two years I’ve been going to the hairdresser every six weeks and it’s made a real difference to my hair!  I also like the pampering side of things :)

At lunchtime I met up with Carey and Matt at school.  Carey was really unsure of how the alarms worked because up until now she’s only hard to turn off the alarm for the hall to get to the ICT suite.  Now that she’s going to be back in the classroom it’s a whole different situation.  Thanks to Matt doing the lifting for me all my tables and computer desks are now set up and I didn’t have to lift anything!

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 27 journal copy_1

After we were done at school I headed down to the chiropractors for an adjustment and it was seriously good!  It had been ten days since my last visit and I was really feeling it but now it’s all feeling a lot better.

So there was lots to feel good about… a nice pampering… classroom semi sorted out… back adjusted… feeling good… and then I rang Mum!

It seems that Dougal just couldn’t leave the fridge alone!  He’d already tried to get at the pavlova and now he was on to the next thing… not the jelly, not the trifle, not the strawberries… oh no… my son went for gold and helped himself to the beer!

After going out to check the mail Dougal was ‘missing’ again and since he’d gone to the fridge yesterday Mum figured that it was a pretty good place to start.  Unfortunately it only took five minutes for Dougal to get down the stairs… open the fridge… grab a can of beer and skull it back!  Mum found him on the floor with the near empty can and a silly grin on his face! 

Then the hiccups started and he very promptly found his manners and thanked Grandma for the ‘great party!’  What was he thinking???  I think Mum might have been worried that I wouldn’t believe her so she took a photo as evidence.  Unfortunately for Dougal I totally believed Mum and he is going to be coming home immediately… no more parties!!

Here’s the photos for the day:Dec 27 photos copy_1

While Mum and I were talking on the phone and Toby realised that Dougal was in REALLY BIG trouble he decided that he could do something ‘little’ and get away with it.  This week Mikayla and I have been eating dinner separately because she hasn’t been finishing work until late. 

She had been eating her dinner sitting on the sofa and went to get something and quick as a flash Toby was up on the sofa and scoffing the last of her dinner!  He quite likes chilli beans!!!

Mikayla came back and caught him and his immediate response… ‘Dougal did it!’  Obviously he’d forgotten that Dougal wasn’t here and he pleaded with Mikayla that it really wasn’t him.  What he didn’t realise was that I’d taken a photo of him caught in the act!

Please tell me this is not typical boy behaviour!  I’m hoping that it’s a serious lapse in judgement but that it won’t happen again! 

Meanwhile Dougal has had his bag packed for him and he’ll be home later on today and Toby is behaving himself extremely well this morning. 

I hope you all have a good day xx

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December Daily: Dec 26

Hi everyone :)

It’s been so quiet here without Dougal around… he actually doesn’t make much noise but it definitely feels strange that he’s not here.

Toby and I took Mikayla to work today because the buses weren’t running and town was already starting to get busy and lots of the shops had Boxing Day sale signs up!  I wasn’t even tempted to try and get through the crowds to bag myself a bargain!

Toby and I spent most of the morning going through all the Christmas Day photos.  There are so many good photos and I’m looking forward to spending some time in my craft room doing some scrapbooking.

Here’s the journaling for the day:Dec 26 journal copy_1

Around lunchtime we had a friend call in so I decided to make us a nice lunch.  We had pasta stuffed with pumpkin and basil… so delicious!  I made a bit of a sauce to go with it and shaved some parmesan cheese on top.  Then I made a salad with crispy bacon and croutons and we also had some pieces of crumbed chicken sausages… it was delicious!

Katie (my sister) gave me a bottle of wine for Christmas even though she knows I don’t like it but she insisted that this one was ‘really nice’.  I think I’ve missed out on the ‘connoisseur’ gene along they way because I actually really don’t like that taste of wine. 

We opened the bottle to go with our lunch and to be honest I had two sips and just couldn’t bring myself to drink any more of it… sorry Katie!

On the positive side we did sit down and watch ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ while we were having lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s such a great ‘chick flick’!

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 26 photos copy_1

I was talking to Mum last night and asked how my boy was getting on.  She kept saying ‘fine’ which we all knows means that it’s not really fine!  I finally got it out of her that she’d had a bit of a scare in the afternoon because Dougal went ‘missing’.  She knew he was in the house somewhere but she just couldn’t find him.

Then Poppa went into the garage and called out to her.  It seems that on Christmas Day Dougal had seen all the left over food being put into the fridge downstairs and he decided to help himself to a little treat!

Mum caught him red-pawed!  He had an entire pavlova out of the fridge… complete with a chocolate dipped strawberry… and he was just about to dig his spoon into it!  Mum managed to whisk it away in the nick of time so crisis averted! 

He’s been reminded about the house rules and that you have to ASK before you take something out of the fridge.  I have a horrible feeling that this young lad is going to get up to more mischief but Grandma insists that he’ll be fine!

I’d better go because I’ve got heaps to do today… including going into school for a few hours.  I hope you have a wonderful day xx

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Project Life: Christmas Day Insert

Hi everyone :)

It’s been so wet here today and since I had the house to myself and really wasn’t interested in going to any of the Boxing Day sales I decided to put together an insert for my Project Life pages this week.

I’m using ‘Design B’ page protectors for the insert since they gave me lots of space for photos.  I’ve got all the photo ready to print off but decided to have a go at doing a digital version to see if I liked it. 

The end result… I like that it’s easy to share on the blog but I don’t like the rounded corners and personally, I much prefer having the actual photos in their page protectors.

Here’s the front of my insert:bh-template-B - FRONT copy_1

I decided to include lots of special moments from the day although it was hard to choose just a few photos from the 200+ that we took yesterday.  I’m so pleased Mum is as ‘snap happy’ as me!

At one point yesterday my little nephew was sitting on my knee ‘huggling’ me… he’s got to be the best ‘cuddle monster’ ever!  I gave his a kiss and said… ‘Do you know that you’re one of my most favourite people in the whole world?’  He turned to me and looked deeply into my eyes with those big brown eyes of his and whispered… ‘You’re one of my favourite people too Auntie”.  Oh how my heart melted!

Here’s the back of the insert:bh-template-B - BACK copy_1

I was so pleased to get the photo of my BIL putting the stickers on the my niece’s Barbie car.  He usually avoids the camera when he can but these photos show a completely natural side to his personality.  I had to laugh when he mentioned that the car would never be able to get a warrant!

My wee niece Jess is such a hoot!  She often says ‘Look it’s YOU!’  When I was taking photos yesterday I took quite a few of her as she’s absolutely adorable and at one point she turned to me and said ‘Hey Auntie, it’s YOU!’ 

So that’s an overview of my Christmas.  It was a wonderful today and I’ve got so many wonderful memories. 

P.S. I know that I’m several layouts behind on my Log your Memory project but I’m going to be working on those over the next few days.

P.P.S. I have been asked if I’ll still be doing Project Life in 2013 and the answer is a very definite YES!  I love having the visual diary that my albums have become and it’s an important part of keeping me in a positive state of mind.

I hope you’ve all had a great day and I’ll be back tomorrow with the next December Daily instalment…  I’m just hoping that Dougal’s first full day at Grandma’s has gone well and that he’s been behaving himself!

Take care xx

December Daily: Dec 25

Hi everyone :)

Well what a day!  I think this has been one of the nicest Christmas’ ever… so much happiness, fun and togetherness!

Our morning started off very early with the boys opening their Santa stocking!  Toby was more than happy to find lots of his favourite treats… and as for Dougal, he got his wish and received a four-pack of sparkly Christmas glitter!

Santa copy_1

Krystal made us some yummy omelettes for breakfast.  Then it was in the car and off to Grandma’s house to meet up with all the family.

The kids were all excited to see the pile of presents growing as each family arrived and then the mayhem began!  There were presents being opened in every corner of the room… so much fun!

This year the ‘three sisters’ (Me, Tracey and Katie) got together and bought Mum and Richard tickets to see the stage production of Coronation Street in March.  The look on their faces when they opened the envelope and realised what they’d been given has fantastic!  I think they were pretty blown away!

Mum put on an amazing spread of food… there was so many things to choose from and by the end of lunch none of us were able to move!  Just thinking about it makes my stomach groan LOL

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 25 journal copy_1

After lunch there was an extra surprise for all of us!  ‘Santa’s Helper’ had left a special sack of presents… one for everyone including all the ‘fur babies’.  The kids were hilarious as Mum opened the sack… they were like bees around a honey pot trying to see what was inside!

As each person received a present they got to choose the next present to be opened and the kids loved choosing and then finding out who was next!  Toby loved his Schmackos Beef Stix and they’re now a new favourite!

Every year Mum takes the annual ‘sister photo’ of us three girls.  We actually got a really great photo last year but this year we turned the tables on her!  We each got our wine glasses out and arranged them ever so carefully before telling Mum that we were ready for our photo!  She really laughed when we mentioned how thin our ankles looked!  Her biggest problem was trying to remember who was who… after all these years you’d think she’d be able to recognise us especially since we got ourselves colour co-ordinated!  I’m the dark one in the middle LOL

Here’s the photos from the day:Dec 25 photos copy_1

It really was the most wonderful day… and we’ve got well over 200 photos to prove it! 

By the end of the afternoon we were all tired and ready to head home but Dougal had other plans!  He knew Grandma had a couple of days off work so he asked if he could stay for a couple of nights…. apparently “Please Grandma Please… you’re the best Grandma in the whole entire world!” made her heart melt and she was wrapped right around Dougal’s paw!

He’s under strict instructions to BEHAVE himself and this morning when I talked to Mum she said that he was being very good and having cuddles in bed with Grandma and Poppa.  I just hope his good behaviour  lasts!

So that was my Christmas… fun, family and food!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too xx

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December Daily: Dec 24

Hi everyone :)

Christmas is finally here but I don’t want to say too much about it today… but I will tell you that the boys were up EARLY and checking out their Santa Stocking!!  They’re all smiles at the moment and waiting to get in the car to go to Grandma’s house :)

On Christmas Eve I finally got my gingerbread house done and thankfully I took some photos of it straight away because within ten minutes the whole roof had sagged and caved in!  High humidity does not work with biscuits and icing setting!

We did find a good Christmas special on TV to watch… Michael BublĂ©’s Christmas show.  The boys loved seeing Elmo!!  They got quite excited about it actually!  I really enjoyed Rod Stewart and Blake Shelton’s performances so we were all happy to sing along.

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 24 journal copy_1

Last night Dougal wanted some help with his spelling because he was writing a letter Santa for him and Toby.  I thought it was lovely that Dougal included Toby in his letter… and Toby obviously thought so too because he let Dougal share his stocking!

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 24 - photos copy_1

They hung their stocking up on the lounge door and finally settled down for the night.  They did get quite excited about 1.30.  I think they thought they’d heard Rudolph’s hooves but it was actually their big sister Krystal arriving home!  Of course they both had to get up and have some cuddles and chats with her!

I think the boys are going to need a little nap this afternoon because they’ve only had a couple of hours of sleep… actually I think I might have to join them!

So that’s it for today… from me and the boys we wish you all a very merry Christmas and we hope that Santa gives you the treats you hope for.

Merry Christmas xx

Monday, December 24, 2012

December Daily: Dec 23

Hi everyone :)

It’s so close to Christmas now and I’m really looking forward to it!  Krystal will be home just after midnight and I can’t wait to see her!  Toby is getting excited and Dougal just about passed out this morning running around the presents!

I spent yesterday organising all my Project Life photos and getting them sorted for my album and then went into town to have them printed.  All the free parks near the photo lab were full so I had to park in one of the metered parks which I usually hate but I got a lovely surprise yesterday. 

The Rotorua District Council has made all their metered parks as well as the ‘pay and display’ areas FREE for the twelve days leading up to Christmas.  It’s a really good gesture on the part of the R.D.C. and it’s certainly made a difference to a lot of small business owners!

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 23 - journal copy_1

I spent some of my afternoon visiting friends and having a pre-Christmas catch up.  It was a very relaxing time.  Then I came home and wrapped up all the presents.  It’s one thing I really love to do and I always try to do it just before Christmas so that it feels more exciting!

Then Toby and I lay down on the bed for a while and I finished off the second book in the ‘50 Shades’ trilogy… still loving it!

I thought Dougal was having a little nap too… but NO!  He was practicing his handwriting by re-labelling ALL of the presents to himself!  Honestly that boy just doesn’t know when to quit sometimes!!!

As I removed his labels the puppy dog eyes starting tearing up and by the time I’d finished he was having a full-on temper tantrum!  Anyone would think he wasn’t going to get anything for Christmas at all!

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 23 - photos copy_1

While Dougal was crying and stomping his feet I got busy in the kitchen and made all the biscuit pieces for the gingerbread house and the kitchen smelt divine!

I had some peppermint sticks that I crushed up for the windows and the smell of mint, cinnamon and ginger was fabulous. 

Well I best be off… I’ve got candy to buy to decorate the house!

Have a great day everyone xx

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Project Life: Week 51

Hello again :)

If you’ve been looking at my December Daily pages this week you’ll know that there’s been lots of Christmas creativity going on. 

This time last week you wouldn’t have known it was Christmas time but now the mantelpiece is decorated, the tree is up and looking pretty, presents are waiting to be wrapped and there is ‘a little bit’ of excitement in the house.

Here’s an overview of the week:Full_1

Dougal has had quite a say in this weeks photos.  If he’d had his way all you would have seen would be pockets of glitter and sparkly ribbon!  He sat beside me while I was getting the photos organised chanting “glitter, sparkles, glitter, sparkles”… it was enough to make anyone forget what they were trying to do.

I did try and do some Christmas shopping early this week… and although I found some really great things they were all for me.  Oh well, at least the boys presents to Mumma were sorted LOL

This week we also threaded some popcorn garlands and they turned out really well… I’m super thrilled with them and will definitely make them again next year!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:Left_1

This week I discovered that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Santa.  I’m sure it’s not the white beard because I certainly prefer my men clean shaven… maybe it’s that wee twinkle in his eye :)

I bought some great little scrabble letters and made some of my own Christmas decorations too.  They look great on the tree and make it just a little bit original.

I also got busy painting little terracotta pots and decorating them.  The chalkboard signs look great and I really love the sparkle of the silver decorations with all the lovely greenery.

In between being creative and decorating I’ve also had lots of time chilling out and reading the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ trilogy.  My oh my they are good books!  So far I’ve finished the first book and almost finished the second book… and I’m totally loving it!

Here’s a close up of the second part of my week:Right_1

Toby and I had a wonderful afternoon playing in the backyard yesterday.  He was jumping around and doing figure-eights as fast as he could.  He eventually needed a rest and lay down in amongst some of the long grass seed and I got some really fabulous photos of him. 

Thankfully, I also got some Christmas cards made this week too!  Not as many as I’d hoped to make but at least I’ve made them.  Now I just have to remember to get them into the post in the morning!

Toby and Dougal have also got quite a few tales… or should that be ‘tails’… to tell this week.  I caught them whispering together on the floor this morning and then a little later on I caught both of them getting into things that they shouldn’t be touching!

Dougal still plays tricks on Toby… and Toby still narks on Dougal… but at the end of the day I think brotherly love has won out!

As most of you know ‘Mr Magpie’ aka Dougal just can’t resist anything sparkly at all and he’s had a big hand in this weeks piece of creativity!  He wanted to put on some glitter and bling and he certainly sulked when I tried to explain the ‘less is more’ theory to him.

Here’s the piece we eventually compromised on:Creativity_1

We had a sparkly red background along with some sparkly silver ribbon and then I was allowed to add my favourite Santa picture.  It has way more sparkle than I thought it needed… and WAY LESS than Dougal was happy with!

So that’s been my week… I’m actually starting to get the excited feeling about Christmas that I used to get as a kid!   Toby is excited that ‘something’ is coming although he’s not really sure what it is… and Dougal is just about beside himself with glee!  Clearly he has a good grasp on the Christmas spirit and it’s rubbing off on me :)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend and that all your plans are coming together the way you want them too xx

December Daily: Dec 22

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s really not long to go now… and I’m happy to report that I’ve finally done my Christmas shopping!  I’ve been putting it off because quite frankly the idea of being in crowds of people and waiting in queues does nothing for me!  You most definitely won’t see me at the Boxing Day sales!!!

It was a glorious day here yesterday and Toby and I spent quite a while playing in the backyard.  The grass is still long but it’s mostly grass seed heads and dandelions so it was quite fun to play in.

I’ve almost finished the second book in the ‘50 Shades’ trilogy and still really enjoying it.  The second book seems to have more of a story too it and I’m zooming through it!

When I went to do this blog post I realised that ‘Mr Magpie’ aka Dougal had been playing around in Photoshop and there is now red glitter on my pages… that boy sure does love sparkly things!

Here’s my journal page (with glitter border):Dec 22 - journal copy_1

For some reason it was really quiet in town last night… maybe everyone is finished their Christmas shopping… or maybe they were just resting for the onslaught today!  Whatever the reason, Mikayla and I got all the groceries done in super fast time so I decided to risk going to do my Christmas shopping and it paid off!  Nice quiet shops… no queues… and I got everything on my list!

I even managed to score the last box of the Christmas lights I wanted… and they were less than half price!  See Mum there is something to be said for procrastination!

When I got home it wasn’t the present that Dougal was after… it was the lights!  The moment I turned my back he had that box open and was trying to pull them out!

Here’s my photos from the day… again with glitter!Dec 22 photos copy_1

You saw what a tangle he got in with 3 metres of sparkly ribbon… imagine what he could do with 300 lights!!! I very firmly informed him that the lights were for next year… closed the box… and put them away on a high shelf.

The end result was that Dougal spent most of the night sulking under the Christmas tree! By bedtime I felt like it was ME who should be sitting in the naughty corner!!!

Today is Project Life day so I’ll be back later with an update… have a great day everyone xx

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Daily: Dec 21

Hi everyone :)

Sometimes you have a really good day because of all the unexpected things that happen… and yesterday was one of those days.  I’d planned on making quite a few Christmas cards, getting some washing done and maybe starting on the gingerbread house.


What actually happened was that ‘50 Shades’ kept side-tracking me and I made a card in between chapters.  The day ran along quite smoothly with me making cards and  reading… and Toby cuddling up in spite of the humidness of the day.

By the end of the day I’d made a total of five cards, finished the first book in the trilogy and started on the second book… not quite as productive as one would have hoped for… but good all the same!

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 21 journal copy_1

While I was making my cards Dougal was taking a LOT of interest… not so much in the card making… it was the sparkly silver ribbon that had caught his magpie eyes!

I had gone into the kitchen to make myself a very late lunch… can you even call it lunch when the clock reads 4.30pm?  Next thing you know Toby is going absolutely mental… barking and jumping and then he came into the kitchen to tell me what was wrong… all I made out was ‘Dougal’ and ‘ribbon’.

I don’t know if it was ‘brotherly love’ or ‘tattling’ but it turns out that the call of the sparkles had become too much of a temptation for Dougal and he’d gotten himself into a terrible tangle!  3 metres of sparkly ribbon can go a very long way!

I had to put him on the sofa to get him untangled and Toby was watching the entire time… again… was it ‘brotherly love’ or ‘gloating with glee’ that kept him engaged in what was happening?

Here’s the photos:Dec 21 photos copy_1

So in spite of all my plans I actually do have five cards made… and the sparkly ribbon is now safely put away for another project!  The sun is shining so the washing might just happen today… and I have all the ingredients I need to make a gingerbread house so there may even be some baking done today.

I hope you are all enjoying the last Saturday before Christmas… it’s not long to go now! xx

Friday, December 21, 2012

December Daily: Dec 20

Hi everyone :)

Well as promised I have creativity to share today.  I had a brilliant day yesterday crafting and reading.  I was totally in my ‘happy place’ and I’m really pleased with what I achieved… although I still haven’t made any Christmas cards!

I’m planning on making some cards today though and I’m still filled with lots of creative ideas so it’s a good thing. 

Here’s my journaling for the day:Dec 20 journal copy_1

Yes I’m finally reading ‘50 Shades of Grey’ and loving it!  I can see why lots of people recommended it but I have to admit there’s a little piece of me that is embarrassed about borrowing this book from my daughter and knowing that she’s read it.

Before she loaned me her books she said quite clearly… ‘Mum I don’t want to discuss anything you read in the book ok because it would just be gross to have that conversation’… I had no idea what she meant but now that I’m reading it I’m quite happy not to talk about it with her!

Dougal on the other hand SNEAKED a peek at what I was reading… going on the blush he had when I caught him I think he got a little more than he bargained on!

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 20 phtoo copy_1

To say I’m happy with my new Christmas decorations would be a bit of an understatement… I sat looking at them all last night and couldn’t keep a silly grin off my face thinking that I’d actually made them!

Click HERE to view the blog that inspired me to make the scrabble ornaments.

So that’s it from me today… there’s more crafting to do and more presents to get sorted… and more ‘50 Shades’ to read!

I hope you all have a wonderful day xx

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Daily: Dec 19

Hi everyone :)

Yesterday turned out to be a highly creative day… and it was fantastic!  It was one of those days where everything creative goes right and it all turns out better than you imagined in your head! 

I’ve always wanted to know what sparks off a day like that and this time I know exactly what did it… I received a really lovely card from my friend Vicki in the mail and BOOM away went the ideas!  Don’t ask me how Vicki’s card sparked the particular ideas I had… cause it’s hard to explain… I just know that it did LOL

Here’s my journaling about the day:Dec 19 Jouranl copy_1

It’s true… I really have been thinking about my Santa obsession… as I walked into Mitre 10 Mega yesterday there was a huge Santa just inside the doorway and before I knew it I was standing beside him patting his arm!  As soon as I realised I backed away really quickly… imagine if one of the kids in my class had seen me!

Perhaps it’s my interest in Santa that has rubbed off on Dougal because he’s always sitting and watching the Santa on the top of the tree… or perhaps he’s like one of those toys that comes to life when the adults aren’t around… I haven’t figured it out yet and Dougal isn’t saying much about it!

Here’s my photos for the day:Dec 19 phtos copy_1

I’m having an absolute blast with my creativity right now… in fact I woke up at 1am and had to do a bit more before I could go back to sleep! 

I promise to reveal the finished products tomorrow… but until then I hope you have a wonderful creative day xx

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Daily: Dec 18

Hi everyone :)

Well the weather man was wrong… big surprise!  We’re now onto our third day of low cloud and drizzle so I’m doing washing and going up to the launderette to get it dry. 

On the ‘adult child’ side of things… there have been some significant changes over the past two days… dinner cooked, dishes done, please and thank you coming from her lips etc… it’s too early to tell if it will last but for the moment it’s wonderful.

Yesterday morning Veronica came over to do a canvas as a Christmas gift for her mother.  She had no idea of what she really wanted… and limited time to do the gift… so in the end we made a couple of photo story pages (8 x 12 inches) and took them down to the photo lab.  She managed to find frames she liked and went off quite happily with her new gifts.

Then I was able to actually start on the Christmas tree… I’m sure I saw Dougal pass out with excitement at one point but he sure did a quick recovery!

Here’s my journaling page:Dec 18 journaling copy_1

It turns out that I’ve got a bit of a ‘thing’ for Santa!  Maybe it’s the fact that he always looks so warm and snuggly… or maybe it’s that I always feel a little bit slimmer standing beside the jolly fat man… either way I think he’s gorgeous!  The Santa Mum bought me as a tree topper last year is so beautiful… and he’s vintage looking… good choice Mum!

Toby has shown hardly any interest in the Christmas tree… I don’t know if he’s lulling me into a false sense of security before he ‘makes his move’ or if he’s really not interested so I’m keeping a pretty watchful eye on him!

One thing I have discovered is that the Christmas tree doesn’t actually photograph very well.  I tried… and tried to get a good photo of the tree… I’ve got almost 100 photos now but none of them look right so I decided to go with a different look for my photo page and this is what I came up with:

Dec 18 photos copy_1

Of course Santa is right there!  Mum bought me the little Santa snow globe last year and it looks really neat on the tree… thanks Mum!

Here’s what the tree looks like… just so you know that I really did put the tree up!


I’m starting to gather my supplies for my Christmas baking too… I’ve got lots of plans to get busy in my kitchen… it’s another ‘life is good’ kind of a day!

I hope you are having a great day xx

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Daily: Dec 17

Hi everyone :)

There are some naughty elves out there!  Remember me saying that we had a beautiful sunset while we were eating dinner on the patio?  Well after dinner I did a couple of loads of washing to put on the line since “Red sky at night, shepherds delight”… well it we had really low cloud and showers all day!  No washing got dried!  I’m thinking that some of those elves must have gotten out their paint brushes to see how many people they could catch out… score 1 for the elves! LOL

The boys and I had a wonderful morning together threading popcorn garlands and listening to Boney M’s Christmas CD… actually I did all the threading while Dougal fed Toby with popcorn!

Here’s my journaling:Dec 17 journal copy_1

Last night Dougal was very quiet… you always know when he’s up to mischief!  Next thing I know Boney M is playing again and Toby came running inside looking for some more popcorn while Dougal laughed himself silly!

It’s actually a great CD for Christmas and if you want to get the CD here’s a LINK to buy your own copy.  This is what the cover looks like:29942-l

We spent a very creative afternoon and now Toby’s presents for his grandparents are done!   Mum and I were talking on the phone and she asked me to send her a photo of what Toby had made… yeah right!  Then she said “Well send me a photo of what he made his Grandad”… she already knew that she and my dad were getting exactly the same thing… SNEAKY!!  You’re just going to have to wait for Christmas Day Mum!

I also got my December ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) done and dusted plus I did some more on the project I’m doing with Krystal for Christmas.

Here’s my photo page:Dec 17 photos copy_1

Ever since I started watching Nigella cooking I’ve coveted her mortar and pestle.  I did actually buy myself a small ceramic one but you can’t ‘pound’ it because it will probably break! 

While I was in Steven’s I spotted the mother of all mortar and pestles… it’s BIG… it’s HEAVY… and it’s all mine now! LOL  I’m really looking forward to making my pesto in it. 

I’m a bit of an ‘enabler’ today because I’ve actually found a link to the sale online just in case you don’t have a Steven’s store near you.  You can check out the sale HERE.

A big hello to Mary-Lou in Canada too!  Thanks so much for your comments.  Unfortunately Dougal doesn’t have a passport but his cousin (who looks just like him) does!  I’m sure he’d love to share a white Christmas with you :)

My week is off to a great start and I’m getting excited about Christmas… I’d better go… Dougal is trying to climb up the Christmas tree!

Have a great day everyone xx