Sunday, November 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

Hi friends,

Did you have a nice weekend?  We did.  We celebrated Thanksgiving and enjoyed having our son Eric home for the first time since he left for college in August.  It was great to see him, even if it was a very short visit.  He arrived very late Tuesday night and then headed back to school very early Saturday.   He attends Clemson and the big Clemson/South Carolina game was Saturday night.  He is doing awesome and we are so proud of him.  He's becoming more confident in his major - he has settled on Bio Systems engineering where he hopes t use biology and engineering to improve the world by working on bio diesel fuels or improving water quality in third world countries.

But, on to today's post for PTI's blog hop.  The challenge was to use these book covers as inspiration.

For the challenge we were asked to use one of the inspiration photo's below.

I chose the book Liars.  I used the aquamist background color and used the vertical image and the rainbow elements for my birthday card.

And one last photo for you before I go.  Here is a picture of my son Eric and I running in our first road race - the Whitin 5 mile.  Unlike other 'Turkey Trots' this race was 5 miles, not 5k, but we did it Thanksgiving morning and had a great time.  Eric finished in 39 minutes.  I did it in 71 minutes.  We were both happy with our times.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Hi friends,

If you regularly read my blog, you probably know that I've been building some new healthy habits that include exercise and diet.  You may also know that I've been close to my goal weight (doctor set and higher than weight watcher standards) for at least 6 weeks now.  Well, I have good news!  On Friday I reached my goal weight on the weight watcher scale.   Happy Day.

I lost 20 pounds over 9 1/2 months.

So, we'll start with the 'after' picture.  It's not my favorite photo (quick shot this morning by DH before leaving for work) but you get the idea.

And now for the 'before' pictures.

Here is a 'face' shot from summer of 2011

And this is a shot of me in October 2011

And here I am in January 2012

So around May of 2012 I started taking pictures of myself in my yoga outfit to do a true comparison of before and after.




Wow, I can really see the inches I lost in my hips and thighs.  When you are only 5 foot 3 inches, 20 pounds is a few dress sizes and it's noticeable, not just in the hips and thighs, but also in my face.  Thank goodness, no more double chin!

So, do you want to know what I did to lose the weight?  Well, first, I joined weight watchers (again.)  WW is a great program where you make choices about food.  So if you really want M&M's, you can have them, you just have to plan around it.   I modified the foods I eat (less processed carbohydrates, more protein and veggies.)  I also modified the portions I eat.  I used to grab seconds all the time, now I'm much more aware of my hunger and satisfaction level and don't automatically grab for the spoon for more.  Lastly, I increased my activity.  At first, I was just doing yoga once or twice a week.  Then in early March I started jogging.  Later in the summer I started going to Zumba class once a week and in October I started going to a 5:30am spin class.  My current schedule looks like this:

Monday: 45 min's spin class
Tuesday: Rest
Wed: 4 mile jog & Hot Yoga
Thurs: 45 min's Zumba class
Fri: 2 mile jog
Sat: Regular Yoga
Sun: 2 mile jog

Plus, most days I hula hoop for about 7 minutes.

I am really hopeful that I will be able to maintain my weight loss this time.  I plan to stay with weight watchers, attend meetings and weigh in once a month.  I also plan to keep the same exercise levels.  If you have been successful at keeping a weight loss off, please let me know what worked for you.  I really don't want to gain this weight back!

So what did I do to celebrate?  No, I did not go out to dinner!!!  Ha Ha!  Instead I went to Lululemon and bought a winter running outfit: Ice Queen Pants (fleece lined and oh so comfy) an insulated fleecy top and a fun headband.   My jeans don't fit anymore so I also went to White House/Black Market outlet in Wrentham and got some fun new jeans with bling on the back pockets.  While there, they had a fun silver/grey cardigan and white bling tank that were marked down to next to nothing so I had to get those too.  It's so fun to buy clothes in size medium that fit well.  Last year I would be in large and extra large sizes and even those would barely fit.

So, now we are heading into the holidays.   I'll have to be focused on choosing my favorites and not going over-board with the sweets and rich foods.    Thanksgiving I am running my first race: a five mile race in Whitinsville.  It will take me over an hour to run it, but I'll do it and then I won't have to feel bad about eating a slice of pie.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Cards

Hi friends,

Do you send Thanksgiving cards?  I just started last year by sending 2 or 3.  This year I am sending a few more.  I have some beautiful fall images and it is a great holiday so why not a card?

Below are two of the Thanksgiving cards I created this year.

I think Mr. and Mrs. Gnome look very thankful and content together and doesn't this scripture below make a great Thanksgiving focal point?  I thought so.  Both of these cards are using stamps from Taylored Expressions and Authentique patterned papers.
My DH and I are enjoying a peaceful afternoon.  Clemson vs. N.C. State is on, a fire is going in the fireplace and brownies are cooking in the oven (for a dinner party Sunday night.)   How are you enjoying this weekend?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Some new cards to share with you

Hi friends,

My blog has been a tad quieter than usual lately.  I've been busy at work and have been making cards at night, but not getting to post them.

So today I have a few cards to share with you.

First up is a fun birthday card I made for my friend Jen.  Jen loves coffee and dogs, so this YNS of Fiona with a latte was perfect. I added in the dog from YNS's tobaggen set and it's good to go.

This week, YNS's challenge was anything goes, so this card is perfect for that!  Don't you love the burlap accent here?  I just got this burlap and while I don't want to hoard it, I only have a little so I'm using it sparingly.

Next up is a Christmas card.  I made this for TSG's winter challenge, but I may have missed the deadline.  Don't you hate when that happens?

It's all good though.  Come December I'm going to be very happy that I have a few christmas cards made and ready to go.

Last up is a card for a co-worker of mine.  Her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it seems like it's pretty far along.  From what I can tell, the cancer has reached his bones and she hasn't been in to work this week (understandably so.)  We are speculating that it cannot be treated, but we don't know for sure.  It's a difficult time for her for sure and I am praying for her.  So it seemed appropriate to send a card saying so.

Stop on by again this weekend.  I have a few Thanksgiving cards I'm working on and one of them uses the new Taylored Expression Gnome set.  Who knew you could make a thanksgiving card using gnomes.  I think you'll love it, so stop on back by.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

DeNami Blog Hop - Thoughtful Thank You's

Hi friends,

Welcome to my post for the November DeNami blog hop.  The blog hop theme this month is Thoughtful Thank You's.  I'm  not sure I 'colored inside the lines' on this one.  You see I just got these darling thanksgiving stamps with the pilgrim chickies and the give thanks circle sentiment.  I was itching to make a thanksgiving card, so my card is not exactly a thank you card, but I hope it's close enough to fit the blog hop theme.  I mean even with the thanksgiving holiday, aren't we really giving a big giant thank you to God for all the blessings we have?  I'm not sending the card up to heaven, but the thoughtful thank you wishings are heading that way, even if the card goes to my daughter or friend.

Anyway, you probably arrived from Kanini's blog:

Here are my two thanksgiving thank you creations:

Your next stop on the hop is Tenia's blog: 

but wait, before you go, be sure to leave on a comment on my blog so you will be eligible for the DeNami Prize.  2 lucky winners will each get a $20.00 gift certificate.  Good luck in the drawing and thanks for visiting my blog today.

Friend Card

Hi friends,

I have a card today for a friend of mine.  

I thought it would be fitting to use this darling thankful die cut in the month of November.  This card also fits PTI's make it monday technique of using die cuts with stamps in your card.

I'll have another post for you in a bit.  Today is Denami's blog hop so in a few hours I'll post another card for thanksgiving.  Thanks for visiting today.  Have a great day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Encouragement Card

Hi friends,

Today's post is an encouragement card I made for a co-worker of mine who recently went out on medical leave.

I used Karen Giron's sweet sunday sketch for this and the Taylored Expression sentiment as the focal point.

We have a low key weekend planned.  don't you love those?  I hope you enjoy your weekend, whatever you may have on-tap.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Your Next Stamp and Bloggers Challenge Paper Piecing Technique

Hi friends,

How are you today?  It has been GLOOMY in New England the past two days.  We had a Noreaster arrive (big word for storm) that brought our first snow of the season.  It was wet, heavy and white and left a 2-3 inch slushy mess on our walkways, driveway and deck.  My dog Tank loved it.  Last night he went out several times with his ball and enjoyed watching his ball 'stick' in the snow.  He also rolled in it, ate it and covered himself in snow.  He really is so playful.  It's like having a toddler in the house (but not nearly as expensive or as much work.)

Then today it was yucky, heavy rain. It's a perfect day to enjoy a latte or cup of tea, and what better stamp to show you this than Fiona loves latte's.  I had fun paper-piecing her sweater out of the red polka dot.  This card is for the YNS challenge to use teal, red and white.  It's also for Lisa Somerville's bloggers challenge (posted a day early) on paper piecing.

Well, I hope you have some sunshine where you are.  I think I heard the sun will be back this weekend for us.  Till then, I'm off to enjoy a hot drink.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day and a Birthday Card for Hannah

Hello friends,

So have you cast your vote yet?  I went right at 7am when the polls opened.  I was done at 7:20 and then enjoyed (?) my typical 1 hour and 20 minute commute into work.  Sigh.  I think the economy is getting better in Boston.  I judge the economy by traffic.  Last spring I was able to get to work in 50 minutes.  Now it’s a full 30 minutes longer.  So, more people are working and spending money on gas than before – at least that’s my take on the situation.  

So, do you know how lucky we are to be able to vote?  Nichole from PTI posted today about the woman’s suffrage movement.  Do you realize that our grandmothers (or if you are young – your great grandmothers) did not have the right to vote?  My daughter also posted on her blog last week that in Ukraine (where she is serving as a peace corp. volunteer) the election they held last week was highly suspect.  In that country, they are able to vote, but because the election process is so fraudulent, many don’t bother.  Popular candidates are withheld from the ballot (and in some cases in jail) and even if they do vote, they don’t have confidence that their vote is actually tallied correctly.  Wow – that is hard for me to imagine.  We may question the accuracy of our voting process and we may even have some areas of the country where there is suspect of fraud, but to have widespread fraud and manipulation at the level they have in Ukraine is discouraging.  The young people of the country feel very hopeless about their ability to influence things.  

I am sooo thankful that the election is coming to an end.  I don’t know about your area, but here in MA, we have had to suffer through a very nasty campaign for senator.  My goodness, based on the ad’s we’ve had to endure both candidates are complete idiots, downright liars and positively EVIL.  It’s been nasty and I’ll be glad to have it done with.  It’s even made me question my admiration and support for my candidate.    Frankly, I don’t believe any of it anymore – it’s all so EXTREME – you know?

So do you like this fun and bright card I posted today?  I used this Taylored Expression stamp and made this for my niece Hannah.  Hannah turns 11 this month.  She is a 9/11 baby (kind of.)  My sister was pregnant when 9/11 happened.  It helps me remember how old she is.  Now I have to head to Target and find a pillow pet.  I love pillow pets and will have fun choosing one for her.  Maybe a panda bear….. oh and a target gift card to go with it.  Little girls LOVE target gift cards.  Lots of things to choose from there and that will make a nice gift from Aunt Linda.

Well, enjoy your day and the drama of the media tonight as they tally the votes and tell us if the country will go to hell in hand basket next year.  Well, that’s what my husband thinks will happen if his candidates don’t win.  Somehow I think we’ll survive, but I guess only time will tell – right?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


A quick post today to share my thank you card I am sending to the Pomeroy's who had us over for dinner last week.   I really wanted to use this big button and I know that means I'll pay a little extra postage but oh well.  I'm heading to the post office tomorrow to mail my ebay sales.

This card uses Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.