Monday, March 23, 2015

My son, the rock god

A total "braggy mom" post....

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already saw this so just move along to the next blog :)

If you're not, I have to share this video with you. My son has been playing guitar for about 2 1/2 years. Every year his teacher holds a Student Concert. The kids get to pick a song & he provides the backing track .... & they get to perform on a Saturday night in a bar, in front of all their friends & family. His teacher is also in a band, so this concert always takes place before one of the band's gigs. It's a bonus, because the stage is all set up ... it just adds to the fun. 

This year, Matthew performed "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica, one of my personal favorites (& that's a good thing, since he practiced about 1284 times!). Here's the video I took:

He also just formed a band with his friends. They've only had one practice so far, but I can't wait to see where this musical journey takes him :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

More than a year later .....

I did it! I was able to sit still long enough (I have crafting ADD) & actually put together a semblance of a card! I mentioned I had bought a gift card for my niece (Xmas gift, since I hadn't seen her since before the holidays) & instead of just handing her the gift card, I thought I'd buy a card to put it into to. Or ... wait a minute ... I used to MAKE cards. She's 13 years old, she might like a handmade card. Or, she just might think it's dorky & stupid. Either way, I gathered what supplies I could find & came up with this:

There are some stamps I will never part with, no matter what. If an unfortunate accident should take away my ability to use my hands, I still would not give up my Penny Black hedgies, my High Hopes stamps, or my Magnolias. I could learn to color with my mouth, right?

So ... after filling a big mason jar full of gummy worms & Swedish Fish (that was the easy part!) & decorating it a bit, I started the hard part. Actually, I have missed coloring. I love to color. However, when it came time to start putting it all together ... well I think that's when I took a coffee break. 

Not only is my stuff in boxes & not organized at all, but I clearly have forgotten the ABC's & 123's of putting colors/ papers/ embellishments together. But it's a hedgie, & a hedgie will look cute no matter what, right?

I did take a picture of the jar, which turned out pretty cute, but as luck would have it my photography skills have also gone by the wayside. Did you KNOW that if you don't keep up with a hobby, you tend to lose a lot of the knowledge & skills needed to bring your "A" game? Anyway, no jar photo.

So .... did I enjoy it?? Will I do it again in the near future?? I have no idea. Like I said, I loooove coloring .... & if I could just color a bunch of images I'd be happy. It's the making-the-image-into-a-card part that trips me up. BUT -- when my niece opened her card, she said "Oh my gosh, it's a hedgie - so cute! Did you make this?" & when I told her I did, she said "I love making cards!!" So there you have it. I now have a niece who loves making cards. If she wants to partake in this craft with me, who am I to say no?? 

However, I think I'll let HER take the pictures :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Frigid Friday!

Well this has definitely been the coldest week of winter so far this year for us. Yesterday my car registered a balmy -17 degrees as Michael & I were waiting for the bus. That doesn't take into account the wind chill. I love Wisconsin ...... I really do ....

I am excited because today I'm headed to Madison to visit my brother & his family! I haven't seen them since October which is just way too long. If you don't know the story of my brother, you can read all about it ** HERE **. Trust me, it's not your average sibling story ..... I've only ever seen it happen on tv. 

So ....  to get ready for my jaunt, I took off of work today. And ..... I just might be spending some time at my craft table, as soon as I clean off the 5" of dust. I have a niece now, & I want to make her a little something. I missed the holidays with her, & now I feel the need to make up for it with a little handmade gift. Details to follow ........

I hope you all have a safe & happy weekend. Stay warm!! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hahaaa sadly this is so true! My husband just got home from work and ... well, it's just another day. It was fun back when we were dating, but I'm ok with it just being Saturday :)

But .... to all of you who do actually celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic night! It's about 500 degrees below zero here with the windchill & I am not leaving my house until Monday when I have to go back to work. I have a list of things to get done around here & so far I've ..... well, I've made the list.

The last couple of weeks have been rough around here ... there's just not enough Lysol in the world. First I was sick, thankfully not the OMGI'mdying kind of sick, but enough that I did miss one day of work. I was just feeling better, when my 12 year old became ill. Again, thankfully, no fever nor stomach issues -- the 2 worst kinds of sick. But he did miss 2 days of school. 

NOW we are all better **knocking on wood** ... and I am back on the fitness track. We joined a gym last month, & I LOVE it! Wait ... who said that?? Never did I imagine I'd like going to a gym. When I was sick all I could think about was having to start over & that I couldn't wait to get back. If you are into fitness, I found a GREAT blog .....

Fitness Food Diva

now, I don't do nearly what she does ... nor will I ever ... but what I love about her blog is all the different things she does with weights & machines. I've been using the machines as I was shown only ... she shows ways to use them that are a bit more creative & works other muscles than what they were originally intended for, & the more things I can do during my time at the gym the better. Check it out if you're looking for a little something different in your routine!

And .... still loving my Fitbit!!!! Very motivational ... instead of thinking "I do NOT want to go all the way down to the warehouse" when I'm at work, I now offer to go for other people LOL. It's an awesome feeling to see at the end of a long busy day that I've walked more than 15,000 steps ... makes me feel like I accomplished something, even if I accomplished nothing.

I am leaving you with a photo of one of my favorite Valentine's Day cards I ever made, with one of the cutest High Hopes images ever:

Yes, I miss making cards. Yes, I still read craft blogs & follow craft boards on Pinterest. You can take the girl away from the crafts, but you can never take the craft out of the girl, I guess. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I bought a Fitbit!

See? I told you I was serious about this fitness stuff! I bought a Fitbit & I am loving it :)  

Some friends had mentioned trackers in a Facebook conversation the other day & it really got me thinking. I knew about them of course, but I didn't know much about all the different ones out there. Spent the next couple of days reading online reviews & blogs ... & decided the Fitbit One was the best one for me. I wore it for the first time yesterday & made it to 6,300 steps. The optimal is 10,000 so I have a ways to go. It's hard because I have a desk job. But I do get up often .... to the copier .... to see my boss ... to the kitchen to load up on coffee & water .... then to bathroom to unload all that coffee & water. 

It's 7:30 PM right now & I'm up to 6,721 steps .... 24 flights of stairs .... 2.98 miles .... & I've burned 1,644 calories. We also decided we are going to give the gym a try, I can't wait to watch my numbers go up! 

If you want to be Fitbit friends (yes, there is such a thing LOL) email me! I welcome any extra motivation! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Certain songs can amp up your workout?

So I mentioned in my last post that this is the year I will start working out on a regular basis. I'm not talking a walk around the neighborhood here & there .... which has basically been my routine till now. I'm talking either joining a gym .... or buying a treadmill or elliptical. I've been doing lots of research about different types of exercise .... weight training (because I have old lady arms) .... running vs walking .... cute workout clothes (ya gotta look good to feel good!) .... & I came across this interesting article. It basically says that while listening to music can intensify a workout, there is scientific evidence these 5 songs are the best to listen to while working out, to maximize the benefits: 

"Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor) 109 BPM

"Don't Stop Me Now" (Queen) 154 BPM

"Beat It" (Michael Jackson) ... one of my all time favorite songs ....needless to say it's already on my playlist! 139 BPM

"I Like to Move It" (Reel 2 Real) ... if I'm going to listen to this I'll also have to watch Madagascar in my head. 123 BPM

"Push It" (Salt N Pepa) ... one of my favorite club songs back in the day. 130 BPM

Not only that, but they included a link to this website, which will calculate the BPM of any song! 

I checked a couple in my play list ..... 

"You're the One That I Want" (Grease) 106 BPM

"Enter Sandman" (Metallica) 139 BPM

"Back in Black" (AC/DC) many version listed, with BPM ranging from 96 up to 193

"So What" (Pink) 79 BPM

I know, my play list is very eclectic! 

Anyway, I found this all very interesting & I can go to bed tonight knowing I learned something new today :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hello 2015!

Huh, I must be feeling ambitious .... 2 posts in one week! Well I OF COURSE had to talk about the coming year, & what I hope to accomplish.

My resolution for 2015 is to catch up on my resolutions from 2012, 2013 & 2014!


Seriously, I do have some things I hope to follow through with this year:

1: Get back to some kind of crafting, any kind. I realized I'm a much happier person when I have something to call my own. Maybe it would be easier if there were another girl in this house. I'm surrounded by boys, who all think crafting is stupid & a waste of time. To them I say ....

So, whether I start stamping again (with what's left of my stuff) ..... or making jewelry .... or fine tuning my photography .... I will do something that makes me happy :)

2: I know this is cliche, but I really do hope to get into shape this year. Last summer my son & I were walking about 3 miles, 3 to 4 times a week. Then I got sick, & didn't do it for about 3 weeks. Then school started & things got busy & we just didn't do it anymore. He has a weight training class at school that he loves, & he keeps asking if we can join the Y. For a family, it's $83 a month. The other 2 peeps in this family could stand to get some exercise as well, it's just a matter of WOULD we all go? Would we have the motivation? Is that monthly fee motivation enough to go? (I am pretty frugal, after all!) When it's zero degrees outside, am I going to want to leave my warm house to go to a gym & workout?? I just don't know. I know I have to do it. It's either that or *gasp* start eating healthy, & if you know me at all you know that's just not happening. And heart disease runs in my family big time. I'm 47 years old. My grandpa died from a heart attack when he was 47. My uncle died from heart issues when he was 43. And my dad had quad bypass when he was 53. All the same side of the family, the side I take after. So .... that right there should be my motivation! 

3: Another cliche - organization. Just today I took 9 bags of crap gently used items to Goodwill. My plan is to tackle one tiny area of this house a week. And by tiny area, I mean - not a whole dresser, just a drawer. If I'm feeling it, then I'll tackle another drawer. I know if I set my goals higher, I will just throw my hands up & say "forget it, too much work". 

So those are the 3 things I'm really going to work hard at. Do any of these look similar to your resolutions?? Any words of encouragement?? 

Happy New Year to all, & if you're going out tonight ~~BE SAFE ~~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy holidays to all ...

Well, I missed "Merry Christmas" (late, which has been the theme of my entire year) so instead I will say .......

Hope your 2015 is everything you want it to be! 


Thursday, November 6, 2014

A new hobby??

****** CLICK HERE if you'd like a chance at winning a High Hopes stamp ******

I haven't even come close to getting rid of all my paper craft supplies, & I'm already thinking of possibly starting a new hobby. Even though I know I don't have the time, I just feel like something is missing if I don't have a little something to do that's just for me. 

Soooooo my mom & grandma had started beading after one of my grandma's stints at a rehab/nursing home. It was something they did a lot with the residents & after my grandma was home, she realized she really missed crafting & decided to continue.

My mom is someone who always said "if I can buy something already made, why would I take the time & effort to make it myself?". Needless to say, she didn't quite understand my love of card making. 

But, after watching my grandma bead, she decided to try it. And lo & behold, she enjoyed it! 

And so like any good mother would, she tried to get me into it. I told her I didn't have time for my own hobby, why would I start another? And besides, I now have roughly 92 handmade bracelets that she has made for me, so I don't really have a need to bead. 

However, I also have a co-worker who is very into beading & has been doing it for a long time. She makes necklaces & earrings as well as some very unique bracelets. She sent me a few links to some of her beading friends on Pinterest, which make me go to You Tube & watch a few tutorials and .....

I haven't bought any beads YET. But I'm close to breaking. My mom only makes bracelets. She doesn't have pierced ears so she has no interest in making earrings. And the bracelets she does make are simple - no clasps. She only has partial use of her left hand so it's hard enough for her to just string beads on a piece of wire & tie a couple of knots. She can't do anything fancy.

But I could.

Both pictures are bracelets my mom has made. If SHE ...... she who shunned crafts of any kind for the first 60 years of her life .... can make these, then I can too. The question is, do I want to start another hobby?? Can I start ano
ther hobby? Do I have time for another hobby? Ok, I already know the answer to that last one. 

Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This, that & a giveway!

I have no excuses. 

The rest of the summer simply .... got away from me. 

Life got busy. 

My friend posted this on Facebook the other day:

"I'm eliminating the word "busy" from my vocabulary. It's a lazy, default answer to the questions "How's life? How've you been?"

There's no virtue in being busy and pretending to have more going on than others. We're all busy. We all have work to do, families to spend time with, friends to hang out with and support. 

Next time you ask me how life is, I'll have a better answer."

I love this. I am soooo guilty of saying life gets busy, I need more hours in the day, there's too much to do. Nobody has more than 24 hours in their day. I'm going to try to be better. I love my blog, my readers, my blogging friends, & I miss everyone. 

So what have I been up to since we last chatted?

* My son got his temps. He's been driving with me quite a few times & he's had his first behind-the-wheel lesson (on a dark, rainy, windy night, no less). I'm so happy for him I could cry. Ahem. 

* I've been seeing my brother about once a month. In September he & I hung out all day together, just the two of us. We went to the Farmer's Market, the lake, & he took me to lunch for my birthday. This month, I took the boys there & we attended a Science Festival, went to lunch at the University Union, & went for frozen custard. My SIL & niece went too & it was just a fun day hanging out with them. 

* Working LOTS. New account for our company = lots of extra hours for Michelle!

* Getting ready to get some much needed improvements/ repairs done on our house. Some major, some minor, all necessary. Will take photos as we go! 

* As "busy" as I am, I am finding more time for my friends. I find myself meeting friends for coffee, drinks, & dinner a lot more often than I used to. My boys are older now, so I don't have to try to work around my husband's schedule if I want to make plans. I just do. If the boys are home alone, so be it. They spent all summer alone together (LOL "alone together"? I'm pretty sure that's an oxymoron. Or something like that.) They have become responsible, trustworthy young men & I am so proud & grateful for both of them. 

*Last weekend, the boys & I went to the zoo for their Halloween goings-on. Fun all around. I shared these on Facebook but in case we are not friends on FB, or you missed them, here's a quick recap of our day: 

It was another perfect day spent with my boys! 

And .... if you've stuck with me through this whole post & all the pictures .... I have a small giveaway. I've been trying like mad to get rid of all my stamps & supplies. I've sold some on Ebay, some on SCS, some here (see my For Sale page) & some through Craigslist. I'm running out of time (there's that busy thing again) & patience. So .... every once & a while I will be giving something away. Nothing big .... just a stamp here .... maybe a pad of paper there .... 

Today, I choose Juliette's Leap of Faith from High Hopes. You can see the image on their web site HERE. It was drawn by my favorite artist, Crissy Armstrong. I loved being on the High Hopes design team & will always love every stamp of theirs. Some I will never let go of. But it's time for at least a few of them to live somewhere where they may receive a bit more love than I can give them. So ..... leave a comment for me if you are interested .... & I will pick a name .... oh, I don't know ... some time before my next post. Ha!! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fab Friday

Happy Friday to all! I hope your week was great! Here are some of my random happenings this week:

1: Sunday was the last day of our County Fair & I'm happy to report we had beautiful weather all 5 days. That never happens! I'm so proud of my kids and the projects they completed. And we got a surprise when we went back after the judging had been complete - Michael earned a purple Champion ribbon for his Peanut Brittle! 

It's extra funny because the recipe is so ridiculously easy - that's why I picked it, I figured he could handle it. And I'd never tried it, so I kind of took a chance with that one. Guess I'll be sharing that recipe with you all soon! 

2: It was a yummy food-filled day at work today. Popeye's Chicken is one of our accounts, & a few of their peeps were visiting our office today. So .... we had a catered Popeye's lunch! AND one of our vendors sent a HUGE Edible Arrangements fruit basket! AND a co-worker brought in doughnuts for her birthday. AND another brought brownies ... just because. Yep, I think I'll need to go for 4 walks tonight.

3: Speaking of walks, my son & I had been going for walks almost every night since about May. We had gotten up to almost 3 miles. Then I got sick. The walking stopped. I was lucky I could get myself to work. Whatever I had lasted over 2 weeks. Then with baseball & getting ready for the fair .... there was no time & we totally dropped the ball. Happy to report, we went for a walk last night & I almost died. But I didn't!!! We were a bit slower than the last time we walked but we made it!

4: My flowers are doing fabulously!! Usually by mid July we've had a ton of heat & no rain, & I get tired of watering every day so my flowers start to look sad. Not this year!

5: My son is all signed up for Driver's Ed *** sniffle *** Time really does go fast. When he was born, I remember thinking "Gosh I hope they raise the driving age to 18 by the time he's 16". That hasn't happened. And while I'm happy for him that he'll have the independence that comes with driving, I'm not happy for me. I foresee lots of wrinkles & gray hair coming my way! 

How was your week? 

 *** Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth ***