Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 1 at Universal Studios

My internet and/ or my laptop have been sooooo slooooow lately. Usually I multi-task so while I'm writing a blog post I'm also chatting on Facebook, playing Words with Friends & shopping on Etsy. NOW it will only let me do just one thing at a time. Who has that kind of time?? 

Anyhoo, I finished editing a few more pictures from our vacation. After going to Disney Springs the day we arrived, we headed to Universal Studios on Day 2. We'd only been to the Islands of Adventure the last time we were there so we wanted to go to both parks this time. AND there was the added attraction .... the TRAIN! If you get the park hopper pass you can ride the train from one park to the other. We started at Islands of Adventure again, & our plan was to just head to Harry Potter & ride the train right away. 


This was on the way in after we got through the security lines. A giant tv where you can see yourself .... & a dinosaur. Why not?? 



One of these times, I am going to get to spend time in Dr Seuss land! And I don't mean just running through to get to Harry Potter. Why does no one else understand just how CUTE it is???



At least my boys were kind enough to take a moment & pose ... reluctlantly ... for mom. You can see my FIL on the left saying "hurry up!" lol .... I think he's the biggest kid in our group. 



Here we are on the train .... I was surprised the wait was only about 15 minutes. I'm sure it's longer for the real Hogwarts Express ;)

So the screen on the left is where all the action is. We got to see the owls flying around, Harry & his friends on their brooms, & the London countryside. In the hallway we could hear Harry, Ron & Hermione talking & see the shadows of the evil dementors. 



It was a little confusing when we got off the train, as there are no signs directing to where to go to get to Diagon Alley. But once we found it .... wow! I was amazed by all the detail! First stop was lunch .... at the Leaky Cauldron. It. Was. Incredible!! I had fish & chips & could even finish, there was so much food 



Again .... reluctantly. 



Diagon Alley isn't huge. But then again neither is Hogsmeade. But the details are incredible. Gringotts Bank is actually a ride... but it's a 3D ride so I had to pass. I was fine with that .... I got to walk around & really scope out the joint. And ... how fun ... every 10 minutes the dragon at the top of the bank breathes fire. Of course, even though I knew it was every 10 minutes, I just couldn't get a good picture. I even had the camera aimed at it & couldn't get it. Here's my best shot: 



I could have spent the entire day in Diagon Alley. But we had to move on. 



The boys in front of the Knight Bus .... drinking their beloved butterbeer. (why oh WHY won't they give us the recipe?!) 

After this we moved on to the Simpsons area, which I will save for the next post. If you are still with me .... well then you must be a Harry Potter fan lol ... because I can't imagine reading all this & not being a fan. Snooze!!! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Is it Halloween already??

No!!! But I haven't made a Halloween card in about 3 years! They've always been my favorite so I'm starting early :)

This was supposed to be a simple card. I was going to take some scraps (yay for using scraps!), use them as the background & slap on an image. Voila. Only, nothing is ever simple in my card making world. It ended up taking about 2 hours. What is WRONG with me? 




Ok, I know it doesn't look like it took a long time. But it did! I had about 53 scraps of paper to choose from so it took some deep thinking. 



Love this little cutie from Pink Cat Studios. I tried to make her face "witchy-like" {green & brown}, but she just looks like she needs a bath. 



As much as I like "bling" & "stuff", I never really use rhinestones. But, I pulled them out for this card. That's right, got a little crazy with this one. 

So when is your Trick or Treat time? Ha, just kidding. My kids haven't even started back to school yet. It's weird to think some kids have been in school for a couple of weeks already. Mine start next week Friday ... but they also go until the second week of June. 

Hope you have a great weekend! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Co-worker love

Happy Sunday to all! Booooo ... It's been a pleasant enough day but now it's 7:47 & the Sunday night stress begins ....

BUT I did have some play time this weekend. I almost forgot how to! I wanted to make a little something for my sales director at work. It's been a rough few weeks for pretty much everyone at work, but especially for her. The usual work stress ... the stress of her son starting freshman year of college  ....& the stress of getting into a car accident & totaling her car. See people? It can always be worse! 

She & I were venting talking on Friday about all this, & as I was leaving her office she said "It's going to get better?" I asked if that was a statement or a question & she said "Yes" lol .... at that moment I decided she needs a little pick-me-up. Here's what I made for her: 




I found the cute little candies at Hobby Lobby. They're minty chocolates with teeny tiny sprinkles. What says happy more than teeny tiny sprinkles?!? I bought the clear bags from Papertrey Ink about a billion years ago, & this is the first one I've used!! * cough * HOARDER * cough *

I think I've never done bag toppers because I wasn't sure how to attach them. So, like with everything else, I winged it! I stapled the bag shut then used a strip of adhesive on both sides of the card. The flowers I bought a looong time ago, & I remember thinking after I bought them WHYYY did I buy these?? They are huge! I finally found a use for ... well, one :)



The paper from K&Company was perfect. I punched a couple of butterflies, added a few teeny tiny pearls (to go with the teeny tiny sprinkles) & just used my computer for the saying. I'm going to leave it on her desk before she gets there tomorrow. If she figures out it's from me then I'll know she's paying attention to our conversations lol! 

I still haven't finished going through my vacation photos. On one hand, I loooove going through them & remembering all the fun we had, but on the other hand it makes me miss being there so much! 

I'm also working on another project. Because not having time for one hobby isn't enough. 





Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

VACATION: Day 1 - Disney Springs

Wow, it has been hard getting back to normal after vacation! We've been home a little over 2 weeks & I feel like I just can't catch up. Work ... home ... errands ... yard work ... I'm behind on everything. I haven't even gone through all my pictures yet, but I did choose a few from our first day to share with you. 

After a very tough wake up at 2 am ... we got to the airport about 3:30 for our 5:35 flight. I couldn't believe how busy it is at that hour lol. 

Take off at 5:35 am on the dot! 




I've pretty much gotten over my fear of flying. Well, I *had* gotten over it, until our return flight. More details on that in my last-day-of-vacation post in a few days.

We decided since we were getting there early enough, but not really early enough to go to the parks (by the time we checked in to the hotel) that we would go to Disney Springs. We didn't go last time so this was new to us. 

I was excited to see this right away:



Yeah, we spent some time in here. 



I think it's funny that in this picture there is a woman behind me wearing more ears/ hats & holding more "stuff" than I am lol. 

I was exhausted & starving from all that shopping. I have been to one of these restaurants before, but not in Orlando. 



Love this place! Definitely enough to look at while waiting for our food. 



We had great food, great drinks & a great gorilla entertaining us the whole time. I didn't get a picture of him though, he was camera shy :)



Michael is smiling in this picture. He thinks this is the only picture he has to pose for. Silly child.



I just thought this was such a beautiful view. I have no idea if Disney Springs changed at all since being Downtown Disney, or if they just changed the name. I was surprised by the high end shops there. Nothing I could afford but it was fun looking! 




I was hoping the Lego Store was more like Legoland, with lots of creations. None inside, but we did find some cool ones outside: 







It was a fun day & the perfect start to our vacation! 

Next: Universal Studios, Day 1!

Michelle

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Home again

Hello friends, we are home from our fantabulous vacation! I miss it already! We had such a good time, although I think this will be our last Florida trip IN JULY. The heat & humidity are wicked, you'd think we would have learned our lesson the first time we went. 

I'm still going through pictures, & will post as soon as I can. Seems some of my friends are anxious for pictures of the new Diagon Alley. It was amazing & I can't wait to share with you all. 

Here are a few random pictures that I had posted on Facebook & Instagram: 







A few of my co workers don't understand why we'd want to go back to Disney & Universal when we were "just there" {4 years ago}. To them I say, we can no longer be friends. Seriously, I LOVE it there & yes we do plan on going back in a few years. We got to do & see a lot of things we didn't the first time we were there & I'm betting in 3 or 4 years they will have even more new things to see. I will never ever tire of going there! 

But for now, it's back to reality. I will be getting back to crafting & hopefully finishing that card I started before we left. I need to get my auctions on Ebay in order & update my Etsy shop. I've been going through closets & drawers & taking a lot of stuff to Goodwill. I feel the need for order!! 

I will be back in a few days with more photos!!!! 

Michelle 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My sweet fur-baby

Our family had to say good-bye to our sweet kitty Elwood yesterday. If you know me at all, you know how important he was to me & my boys. I've posted tons of pictures of him here & on Facebook & Instagram....  he was a huge part of my life & I am devastated. He would have been 21 in a few weeks. I know, he lived a full life. But that doesn't make it any easier. And we leave for vacation early Saturday morning. Please think good thoughts for my family ... that we can fully enjoy ourselves next week even though we've suffered a huge loss. 




Good-bye my sweet baby. I will always love you xoxoxox




Thursday, June 30, 2016

TBT & silly randomness

Because silly is all I can be lately. We leave in 2 weeks & 1 day & I. Can't. Wait!!! Our first vacation in 4 years! Maybe someday we'll go somewhere other than Disney/ Universal, but for now this makes us all happy :)

Here we are, last time. I just want to make a note that it was about 1000 degrees EVERYWHERE that summer, not just Disney, so if we look like we were melting we probably were. I wanted to jump into that water behind us. 




My father in law, my mother in law, me, Michael, Matthew

And now comes the silly randomness ..... speaking whatever is on my mind:

* Our flight is at 5:25 am! Yes, we'll be in Florida bright & early, but we'll all be too tired to do anything! 

* I have no idea how or what to pack. I did great last time, didn't forget a thing. This time, even though I made lists, I feel very discombobulated. Oh how I wish I had kept my lists from last time! 

* Praying no one gets sick! That didn't happen last time, but a few months ago when I did get really sick I thought "what if we were leaving today??!!" I'm sure it happens ... I just hope it doesn't happen to us! 

* My FIL was just diagnosed with Celiac disease. Thank goodness for buffets! {our hotel stay includes breakfast & dinner buffet every day}

* My poor cat, who will be 21 in August, will be staying with my mom & her two cats. He didn't enjoy it 4 years ago, I can't imagine he'll be any more thrilled this time around. Or, he's so old now he just won't care. 


More random stuff:

I've been trying HARD to earn any extra $$ I can this past year, & I've also been trying hard to SAVE. I go in spurts with shopping. I can go 3 weeks without doing any shopping except food, but I can easily cancel that savings out in 2 hours.

I was with my friend Cris the other day, who enlightened me about Shopkick. How did I now know about this?? It's an app for your phone, & you get points for shopping at certain stores. Sometimes you get points just for walking INTO a store .... sometimes you get points for scanning things {like a scavenger hunt, so fun!} .... & sometimes they have specials. I think you can scan your Walmart receipt for points. You can download the app on your phone, or send me your # & I'll send you a referral link. I believe if I send it to you, you get 250 points right away. Thanks again, Cris! 

I've also gotten back into Swagbucks. I signed up years ago but always forgot to go to the site. Now they have a button that you can add to your toolbar & an app for your phone. Much easier to remember & yes, it takes a while to earn gift cards but considering you do practically nothing, it's a no-brainer! 


I do have a card in progress, but as it turns out - more organized space does NOT give you more hours in the day! Who knew?! 

Ok ... back to it. Back to what?? Wasting time on the internet, of course :) 


Michelle {can't get my signature to work, boo}

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Tilda

Hey, I'm getting kinda good at this making-a-card-then-blogging-about-it thing. It still amazes me how much faster it all goes when I know where everything is! I've been using a little of everything, mostly things I forgot I had :)



I kind of can't believe how many Magnolia stamps I have. When I was organizing, I had a bin that I was going to put them all into. However, halfway into it, I realized I was going to need a bigger boat bin. I think it took 3 attempts to find one that fit them all. They just fit. I guess I can't buy anymore. 

hahaaaaaaaaa



This is one of my favorites. Probably because I looooove strawberries. If it's got strawberries in it or tastes like a strawberry I will have 5. {and yes, that includes margaritas}.



I kind of got silly with that Twinkling pen thing again. I just love it & I'd better stock up. Although, I noticed they come in colors. I only have clear. I can't really imagine using colors. I bought all kinds of colored Stickles & I only ended up using the clear. 



I have to admit I haven't looked at a Stampin Up catalog in a whole lot of years. I have no idea what color card stock they carry, or any of the stamp sets they sell. But Riveting has always been one of my favorites & probably my most used. I love circle sentiments & these are so simple they can be used on any kind of card. I mean, ya gotta have a sentiment, right?? 



Yes, even the poor butterfly has been Twinkle-fied. Or is it Twinkle-ized??

I need to get back into the challenge/ linky/ blog parties! I'm playing along with the following: 

Marvelous Magnolia ~ anything goes (always a favorite lol)

Magnolia-licious ~ ALSO anything goes (on a roll!)

Sincerely Paula ~ no rules weekend party (teenage me would have loved a no rules weekend party!!)

Crafty Girls Creations ~ anything goes

Crafty Ribbons ~ anything goes


Till next time!



~Michelle~

Monday, June 13, 2016

Almost summer!

Wow, how did that happen? Just yesterday (ok maybe not yesterday) I was shoveling snow & next week is summer! Only a month until we go to Florida! Hopefully it won't be a thousand degrees every day like it was when we went in 2012! 

I'm THIS CLOSE to finishing another card (I know!!) .... but it's been soooo nice out so I've been spending most of my free time planting & digging & yanking & swearing a lot. Here is what I've been up to...


This is what our front "garden" looked like before I started using that funny looking tool there. 

After edging, adding soil & compost, planting & mulching, this is what it looks like now: 


And may I add, I did every stinkin' bit of it myself! There were no husbands or sons involved in the making of this garden. I have added a few more bits here & there since taking this photo ... a few more flowers & decor. I just love it :)

This weekend I worked on the nasty pain-in-the-tail random looking shrub that has blocked our front porch since we moved in here: 


And now ....


I planted a Butterfly Bush in its place. I won't tell you how I'm feeling today after getting that beast (& apparently it had children) out of the ground! * ouch * #gettingtoooldforthis



Osteospermum (fancy word for daisy)



Peony about to open 


A peony that IS open. In my yard, the white ones bloom before the pink ones LOL


I'm usually not a fan of geraniums but I love this striped one. 

I will have tons more flowers to show you as the season goes on. Lots to do in my yard & all my plans include new gardens. Out with the old & in with the new! 

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