30 January 2009

Valentine tutorial.

Okay, so, I am going to attempt to give a tutorial on how to make these cute, little Valentine's. Several of my chums on facebook asked me how, and a few other friends. I am happy to oblige, but would like to disclaim that I know these are nothing extraordinary compared to what some of my fellow bloggers/crafters are capable of. But, please keep in mind, I do not have Photoshop or any other advanced photo editing software. What I'm getting at is, I think they turned out pretty darn cute.

1. Take a close-up face shot of your little ones.

2. Upload your favorite shot to Picasa or Picnik.com. I prefer Picnik for this particular project because there are more options to choose from, like, the cute little SWAK mark I put on the boys' cheek. During this editing process, you can also convert to black & white and add text to the face shot. I added a simple 'from: blah, blah, blah'. When you've completed the editing process, save the file, duh.

3. Decide a theme for you Valentine. There are lots of really good ideas on FamilyFun.com.

4. Once the boys chose what theme they wanted, I, then, Googled dinosaurs, red bikes, red planes, etc. under the images tab. The images that the boys liked were then uploaded to Picnik.com, by moi. I renamed them to make it easier to find later when I uploaded them to my favorite photo processor. Most of the dinosaurs, I converted to black & white during editing on Picnik. During this step, you can also crop or change colors, etc. to your uploaded Google clipart, before saving and renaming.

5. Choose which processor you want to use and upload all of the images you need to the same album. For this project, I used Walmart.com because they have a nice collage application for 4x6 prints, and they allow you to add text at the top or bottom. Plus, they are $.09 apiece. Score!

6. When everything is uploaded, fill your project's photo tray with all of the images you want on that specific card (simple clicking and dragging). It will automatically choose for you where the photos go, but if you switch around the order you add them to the tray, it will put photos in different spots. It is kind of a trial and error process at this point.

7. When everything is where you want it...you can add up to 30 characters of text at the top or bottom. You can also change the color and font. Additionally, you can change the color and width of the borders.

8. Preview the result to make sure it is exactly as you want it, and click 'order prints'.

9. Wait for your prints to come and spread the love!

Or, you could scrap this whole project, and go here to 'less ordinary designs'. You will pay a tad more (about $16), but what you're left with is a beautiful jpg file that is all yours to keep, forever and ever. Plus, Sara is so nice and easy to work with. Either way, it's a win-win situation.

ps This project is really not as complicated as I have, probably, made it sound. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and I will do my best to help you. :)
Feel the love!

29 January 2009

Who the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did I think I was in high school?
Apparently, a beauty queen or something.
What was I trying to prove with all of those sequins and hair-spray?

I suppose I was just doing what every girl does in high school...trying to find their place. That is what's supposed to happen during those years, right?

I, honestly, loved dancing and my friends, AND dancing with my friends. We had some great times.

And I met Jake in high school, so it couldn't have been all bad.

Dang, we were hot!


I still like to think that my best years are ahead of me.

In fact, I know my best years are ahead of me.

ps If you thought I was unpleasant or mean in high school, think of this as my public apology. I am deeply sorry. I tried VERY hard to be nice to everyone, no matter how different I thought they were from me. I didn't always succeed, but I did try. I was, also, surprisingly, shy, and that, often times, comes off as being a brat (or some other word). It's amazing how none of it really matters now, anyway. If I've learned anything since high school, it's that we should all take ourselves a little bit LESS seriously! Seriously!

Thanks for the memories, girls!

28 January 2009


I am going out on February 7th for my dear friend, Mrs. Lewis', 31st birthday. Which by the way, the 7th is two days before my very own 31st, so I think, we can safely say, I, at the very least, will be celebrating BOTH special days. It is at a music lounge/bar type place. I never know what to wear to these things. I am pretty confidant in my fashion choices, but the bar scene is a conundrum for me.

On the one hand, you don't want to wear your everyday 'mom' clothes. Right?

Too casual.

source 'Saturday Night Live'

On the other hand, I think trampy clubbin' clothes are definately out. I mean, seriously, I've given live birth four times. It's just not appropriate anymore.

source unknown...sorry, fellas!

But, seriously, when are these kinds of clothes appropriate? I guess, if you work a corner. I'll give you that.

I'm thinkin' something like the following...

image from j.crew

image from j.crew

source unknown

I'm sure I can cook something up.

Maybe, even something a little s-e-x-y (is that word allowed on Blogger?)!

Wowza, wouldn't that be somethin'?!


27 January 2009


Aren't snow days magical? It makes the ordinary, extraordinary. Particularly, if you have kids in your life, even if they're not your own. Watching how excited they get, the games they come up with, the smiles on their frozen faces. For instance, my boys were using our fresh blanket of white for the backdrop of their beautifully executed attempt to stage certain scenes from Star Wars Episode V. Apparently, they were trying to establish a secret base on the remote ice planet, Hoth.

! That is childhood imagination and creativity at its finest, if I do say so, myself. My brother-in-law would argue that my boys will eventually be the president and vice-president of the Dungeons & Dragons district chapter, or organizers for the local Star Trek convention (what's up, Mr. Parrett), but I say they are exercising their little brains. Incidentally, I would love it if they became either.

And, need I remind you, Brent, that you, yes you, owned the Millennium Falcon when you were a kid, AND you still have it.
Live long & prosper!

i 'heart' faces adult entry.

This one may be a long shot. I used the flash, among other things that may be wrong with it, technically speaking. However, I think it really is a 'joyous' photo. It is capturing my uncle's face when he walked into his SURPRISE retirement party.


I 'heart' faces kids entry.

I am a glutton for punishment. This will be, yet, another attempt at the 'i heart faces' weekly photo contest.

Whatever happens, this picture is a winner to me.

26 January 2009

check this out...

the women in my family are suckers for bargains.
i have wanted a new chair for a long time to replace a
hand-me-down wing back chair in our living room
that came from my mom.
she found these sweet beauties at target on clearance.
we snagged the (completely unharmed) floor sample for
an even deeper discount!
total: $86
originally $219?, I'm pretty sure.
gotta love that!
do you have any super bargain stories you would
like to share?
tell me below, or not
(like most of you do, anyway).


Bowling alleys smell stinky...

...but, who cares?!

Go, Jake!

Go, Pete!

waiting for their turn

Chelle & Kate: official score-keepers

Go, Betsy!

Go, Kate!


25 January 2009

4 kids+Sunday mornings=good times

On the mornings when there is no 'childrens' church' at our house of worship, I always need to put little, quiet activities in my bag to entertain the kiddos. This morning, I put paper and pens in my bag. We were running behind, so, that's the best that could be done. On this particular morning, it was Jake and Pete that had ants in their pants. Typically, it's lil' Ro. Anywho, I let them have the pens and paper and below you will find what they came up with.

Now, I am all for giving my children artistic license, but seriously boys, I hardly think that a guy shooting, what looks to be an AK-47 Russian assault rifle, and the note Pete came up with, qualifies for appropriate church creativity.

Call me crazy.

Jake's church 'gun' art

Translation for Pete's church note: No praying, no going to church...be bad.

And if the nun sitting near us saw this note...I apologize. Contrary to what you may be thinking, we are not raising our children to be heathens.

Well, I think that about sums up our morning.


24 January 2009


I'm going bowlin' tonight. I can't wait. It makes me think of Grease 2.

Hope this video makes you smile as much as a kid in a candy store.

And, yes, my family will be dancing and singing like that on the lanes. It is really quite a sight to see. Maybe, I'll take pictures...we'll see.

fyi: Pause my playlist to fully enjoy. It's in the sidebar on the left.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Here's to gettin' a turkey!

21 January 2009

I love Facebook. NOT.

Gosh, I am a bold faced liar!

Facebook has become my drug of choice these days. I know, I know. I'm a little late at the start. I AM an almost 31-year-old wife & mother of 4, after all. I still have an outdated MySpace page for rootin' tootin' sake.

I am not worried though. I have, for the most part, contacted anyone I could possibly think of that would even recognize my name. There is no shame in that. The more friends I have the better of a person I am. Right?

Well, if that's true, I am a miserable excuse for a human being, because I hardly think that 100 mates is a Facebook record. But, I will admit that it has been nice to reconnect with certain people. Had it not been for the Facebook phenomenon, I'm not sure how I would have gone about tracking down certain individuals that have been near and dear to my heart over the years. For that, I thank thee, Facebook.

Otherwise, I think it is the on-line equivalent to a crappy high-school reunion with a cash bar. And, I should know what that's like. There was a cash bar at my over-priced 10-year reunion, and I was 6.5 months pregnant with Rosie. However, I looked smokin' hot.

Who am I kidding? I was a whale in knee high boots. Hardly a smokin' hot babe does that make. And, quite honestly, I don't think that I've ever looked smokin' hot (I am not looking for any reassurance or validation, here, all you have to do is look at the picture below to know what I'm talking about).

Is that hair on my head or a dead squirrel?

Well, crappy reunion or not, I am going to say it loud & proud,

"I love Facebook, and I am a total and complete loser for it!"

PS In about 2-4 weeks, I assure you I will be done with Facebook.

I hope...

Is there rehab for Facebook addicts?

Don't answer that!

20 January 2009


image taken from stonz etsy shop

Okay, so here goes.

I am not a democrat. Most people that I know accept this about me and move on with their lives. After all, variety is the spice of life. I am not militant about my party affiliation (most of the time). In fact, if a democrat, libertarian, or independent, can come up with intelligent, valid reasons for their political tendencies, more power to 'em. Just have something halfway reasonable and well thought out to back up the reasons why you lean the way you do. Whichever way that is. (By the way, 'because, it's cool' is NOT a reason).

There are many things that I lean to the left about. The environment, gay rights, civil rights, stem cell research (of the NON-embryonic variety), animal rights, basic human rights, I prefer peace over war (unless, there doesn't seem to be any other way), yadda, yadda, yadda. Basically, like with most things in life, I do not believe every single thing the conservative right believes. But, at the core, I believe in capitalism and hard work. I believe that there is a severe lack of morals and values in this country, and that a little bit more God, or whatever spiritual being you believe in (seriously, I know not everyone is a Christian) wouldn't hurt any of us. I could go on, but who has the time, and do you really care?

I am not cynical to the point of hating our new President. Quite the opposite. I think he has a fantastic opportunity to bring this country what it so desperately needs. Hope and change. (That was his slogan, wasn't it?)

Despite who I thought would be best for the job, and who I ultimately voted for, I DO want our President to succeed. If you don't...you're an idiot! And, I don't feel bad saying that. The success of our nation's leader reflects on our country as a whole. Morale depends on it. It needs it like a drug, like a losing team needs a win. I hope the next four years are like one of the greatest comebacks in NFL football history (Bills vs. Oilers 1993 playoff game comes to mind...good gravy, I love wikipedia).

I wish President Obama all the success that could possibly be afforded to him. And, now that he is elected, I stand behind him. I may not agree with everything he chooses to do for this great country, but we can't all agree on everything. It isn't natural, or fun.

Now, let the next chapter for the United States be written...

image from sherrytruitt's etsy shop

Happy Inauguration Day!

19 January 2009

Don't get bored...

...good things are coming. I am just tired and not feelin' it today.

So, in true "odd girl out...?" fashion, I am posting something, probably, semi-controversial tomorrow. Yes, it is inauguration day, and yes, I am republican, and no, I did not vote for our president-elect, but no, I am not going to post something hateful about Mr. Obama, as I previously did here. In fact, it will be uplifting (hopefully), and encouraging (maybe) to all Americans. I am not a complete cynic. I do realize what a historic day tomorrow is.

Then again, tomorrow always holds a lot of promise.

Doesn't it?

God Bless the USA!

I 'heart' faces-adults entry

This will be my first adults entry.
The ONLY reason it is a picture of me (that you've seen before) is because I only have one other adult photo worthy. And, it HAS GOT TO be saved for the 'eyes have it' or 'silly' category.
We'll see...

I 'heart' faces-kids entry

2nd times a charm?
Another photo entry for the "i 'heart' faces.com" contest.
This is Rosie. Again.
I have some of the rest of the litter, but I am saving them for various other categories in the weeks to come.


18 January 2009

See, Mom, it's not SO bad.

I got my birthday present a little early this year. Well, actually, Jake and I don't normally give each other birthday gifts. A card, a special dinner, a kiss. That's the usual around here.

Anyway, after many days, months, even years...
I decided to NOT listen to my momma (I will be 31, after all), and just do it.
And, I am so glad I did.

Thank you to the friendly staff at CheapTRX on Grand Ave., and to Courtney (my piercer). If I ever have a need for a tattoo (which I won't), or another piercing (which I doubt), I will, totally, use your services again.

And, no, it didn't hurt. Well, maybe, just a pinch!
Watch some random girl getting her nose pierced here...
Not so bad.


17 January 2009

More party pics...

Uncle V's retirement party


father and daughter (my cousin, Steph)

the girls

sweet chandelier!

introducing, Baby Grayson!

the yummy cake!

you're under arrest, & you have cute booties!

old-fashioned kiss

sisters with the bride-to-be, Mama-Mel!

Aunt Mo-mo, and her popeye

cousins or twins?

A great time, had by all!

Say 'cheese'!