Road Trip Prep

3 Jun

I knew it had been a long time since I posted on our blog, but I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted since Jonah started Pre-K. He’s finishing 1st grade now! I don’t have time to post all that’s happened since then, but I thought I would post about our big road trip this summer. We took our kids on a 7 day trip from Dallas to Pigeon Forge, TN when he was 2 – 1/2 and she was only 6 months old. At the end of the trip we thought, “Wow… that really wasn’t that bad. I’d actually do that again!” So we did. When he was 4 – 1/2 and she was 2 – 1/2, we made a 9 day trip to Michigan. Again, we had a good time and managed the car time pretty well. I think we only watched 2 movies during that whole trip!

So with those two relatively good road trip experiences under our belt, we’ve become a little more ambitious for this summer, since they’re now 5 &  7 years old. We have some friends who moved up to Seattle last summer and thought driving out to see them would give us a good excuse to see some of the major sites out west that Jason and I have never seen ourselves.  The list of places we wanted to see kept growing and so did the list of friends and family we’d visit along the way. Next thing you know, we were planning a full 3 week road trip…. that’s longer than any vacation any of us have ever taken before! Did I mention we’re camping 7 of those nights?

Of course, now when I tell people we’re taking a 3 week road trip… with kids, people give me the jaw dropped look and then either tell me: You’re crazy. You know that right!? OR How in the world are you going to do all of that!? Hehe, yes I’m crazy. I do know that. I also thought this post would be a good way to answer the second question on how we do it. We’ve learned a few tricks from our previous trips, so we’ve just scaled it all up for 3 weeks. In no particular order, here’s a run down of how we roll.


canvas cube with a kitchen trash bag

We used to have a small car trash bag made for that purpose, but it was never big enough for road trips. We’ve actually replaced it permanently with this because it holds more and is a bigger target that the kids can both hit when they are throwing away their own trash.

pockets for small toys on the back of the front seats

pockets for small toys on the back of the front seats

I found this little 6 pocket “shower organizer” in the Target Dollar Spot and attached it to the back of our seats so the kids can keep a few small toys for playing with in the car. Putting it behind the grab bar helps keep it from flopping around.


extra box of small toys

To keep things fresh, I have a box of small toys to swap out what’s in the pockets every day or two. If I gave them access to the whole box, they’d make a huge mess and get bored with everything quickly.  Some of the items have been put away for months, so when they see them again on the trip they’ll be excited to play with them. Some of the items are new and will be wrapped as surprise gifts along the way.


contents of small toy extras box

Magnetic stuff: dolls, words, tangrams, swizzle eggs, trapeze men desk toy.

Tactile stuff: squishy light up spider and puppy, koosh ball, fuzzy bracelets, noise putty.

Fidget stuff: push button collapsing animals, push button action happy meal toys, bending links, balancing bird, mini slinky, pop open calculator, Jacob’s ladder, mini top, ball and cup.

Visual stuff: light up wand, oil and water I Spy wand, fractal kaleidoscope, light up happy meal toys, mini puzzles, ball maze.

Creative stuff: create a face, etch a sketch, Rory Story Cubes, mini play dough kit.

Imagination stuff: Polly pockets, mini play mobile sets in travel soap dishes, littlest pet shop, micro remote control car.

between the seats box

between the seats box

We have a second canvas cube between the kid’s seats to hold a few bigger toys that won’t fit in their small pockets.

contents of the box between the seats

contents of the box between the seats

Color wonder markers for them to share, 3-4 play sets I prepackaged in zipper pouches, CD and DVD wallet, a big slinky (it’s always a big hit), a hobberman ball, hot wheels and squinky barn  play sets that don’t fit in the zipper pouches. The kids are each going to practice their new found stitching skills by making a felt stuffed animal. I put those supplies in a regular ziplock bag so we can throw it away once they’ve completed their projects.

the pre-cut pieces for their stuffed animal sewing projects

the pre-cut pieces for their stuffed animals

Aren’t they going to be so cute?! Once we finish them, we’ll use them like Flat Stanley and take pictures of them at the various landmarks.


box of extra play sets

Just like the box of small toys to trade out in their pockets along the way, I have several other play set pouches to trade out too. I use the zipper pouches because they are more durable and hold their shape better than regular ziplock bags. We tried that one year and it was still hard to find stuff in the box, not to mention that the kids had trouble closing them. I’d seen this pencil bag idea on Pinterest, so I’ve been collecting them for a couple years, in preparation for future travels. It definitely makes my OCD happy too, seeing them all lined up in this box. 😉


contents of extra play sets box

These pouches could have anything in them, but here are some of the ideas I’ve done. Weaving loom, mini doll house nursery furniture and babies, mini play kitchen set from the Dollar Tree, farm animals and wild west figurines, small building set like k’nex or legos, playmobile pirates, my little ponies, army men, kaleidoscope, view finder, their beloved Minecraft action figures, felt flannel board, finger puppets, and their sewing kit.


books and activities saved for later

We have these books and activities saved for the 2nd half of the trip stored in the bottom of the extra play sets box too.


a few items going into their backpacks

We’re each going to have a car back pack with a smaller bag/purse for carrying essentials inside. I haven’t gotten those entirely together yet, but here’s a peek at some of the stuff I’ve got set aside. Pencil box with map pencils and dry erase markers (I have an altoid box of crayons to keep in my purse so they never get left to melt in the car), scissors, glue stick, and a dice (for some of their binder activities). A head lamp, book light, mini fan, sunglasses, lanyard with compass and magnifying glass to pin their Junior Ranger pins to, walky talky, mini journal/sketch book, and a little slug bug car counter I made for our last trip.

location of their binder boxes

location of their binder boxes

I found these metal desk file boxes that make good use of the space between their seats and the minivan door. I used a bungee cord to keep it from sliding around (not pictured).

binder box filled

binder box filled

Each of the kiddos has their own box that will hold their stuff. They both have a cookie sheet lap tray, an eye spy book, an atlas kind of book, a stencil book (he gets to design cars and she gets to create outfits), a color wonder coloring book, a paint with water book, and a car bingo game board.

contents of his binder box

contents of his binder box

He also has a neon drawing board, an Ed Emberly drawing book, brain quest cards, a dry erase game board, and license plate game.

contents of her binder box

contents of her binder box

She has a magna-doodle, water marker book, and a frozen book to practice reading. We will be adding some other readers for both of them too, I just haven’t got them yet.


the explosion of our office while sorting and packing all this stuff LOL!

My husband really hates clutter, so I had to put a warning sign on our office door the day I decided to tackle organizing all of the stuff to keep the kids occupied. Hehe


the car packing configuration minus the snack box, water jug, and the roof rack bag on top

I’ve also done some planning on how to pack the car to make everything easy to get to and keep it tidy (hopefully). I made a master packing list for the clothes a few months ago (more on that later) so I know I’ve got one big bag, 2 medium bags, and 4 small bags for all of the clothes and toiletries. In the back we’ve also got the cooler, camp stove, a tub of camp kitchen stuff, a tub of general cleaning stuff, a stroller for sight seeing (because the 5 year old will tire out and they are both still under the weight limit), and a Luggable Loo for camping and emergency potty stops. All of our camp stuff like tent, cots, chairs, sleeping bags, and pillows fit in a car top carrier we got.


I also found this two compartment canvas tote with pockets that’s supposed to be a trunk organizer. I’ve got it’s handle tied to the 3rd row seat belt so it won’t slide off, but we can still lift it off to get into the cooler. The pockets are nice for paper plates, napkins, and utensils. Most of our daily snacks and drinks will be stored in a soft sided cooler up front, but the rest of our “pantry” will go in here.

jackets for restaurants on the back of their chairs

jackets for restaurants on the back of their chairs

Our kids always freeze when we go out to eat, and then they don’t want to eat because they are so cold. Our solution is to keep jackets in the car year round.

the driver side door

the driver side door

This is another feature we keep in the car year round. I found this wipes/sanitizer/tissue holder in the baby section at Wal-mart. We keep the first aid and barf bag up front too, just in case of emergencies.

the swim box and pit stop box

the swim box and pit stop box

For the trip we are adding these two boxes right behind the kids’ seats for easy access when we stop.

the contents of the pit stop box

the contents of the pit stop box

We’ve got a zip up picnic blanket, 4-square ball because it’s the most versatile for kicking/bouncing, sidewalk chalk (in a re-purposed frosting container), no-spill bubbles (I need to get a refill bottle though because they’re empty LOL), jump rope, frisbee, an oball, and a mesh bag to hold a couple of small sand toys so we can shake the sand out afterwards.

the contents of the swim box

the contents of the swim box

In the swim box we’ve got their inflatables, her puddle jumper life jacket, and another mesh bag for their goggles and dive rings.

the cleaning box

the cleaning box

The cleaning box will be right behind our cooler and contains all of the supplies for the car, camping, snack packaging, and doing laundry.

the contents of the cleaning box

the contents of the cleaning box

Paper towels, car leather and glass wipes to keep our space clean, lysol wipes for the plastic stuff, hand and face wipes, laundry detergent, hand and dish soaps, camp stove propane tank, canister of bungee cords/twine/clamps, toilet paper and trash bags, 3 pop up Dollar Tree hampers for sorting laundry, wash rag and towel, baby wipes refill for the front door as needed, ziplock bags in various sizes, whisk and dust pan, lugable look bags, and the propane hook up for the camp stove (so it doesn’t rattle inside the stove).

the camp kitchen box

the camp kitchen box

I have a really awesome wooden chuck box that I built for camping, but it’s huge and heavy and just can’t come with us this time. So I’ve got my camp kitchen essentials consolidated into one tote for this trip.

inside of the camp kitchen box

inside of the camp kitchen box

This is what it looks like under the layer of table cloth, griddle and cutting board.


contents of the camp kitchen box

contents of the camp kitchen box

I’ve got a collapsible mixing bowl, my whole set of nesting pots and pans, a set of stainless steel plates/bowls/mugs, some small snack cups, kettle, 2 dish pans, dish drying rack and drying pad. I use the dish towels/rags/potholders to keep stuff from rattling inside the box. I re-purposed a crystal light container to hold our silverware/can opener/knives. In our box we also have our telescoping marshmallow roasters, lighter, scrubbing brush, salt/pepper, tablecloth clips, retractable clothesline, foil, apple slicer, and some basic cooking/serving utensils.

the binders are a work in progress

the binders are a work in progress

I suppose next I could tell you a little about the travel binders I’ve been putting together. The kids will each get their own with travel iteneraries, brain work, and fun activities for them to do. I’ll have a master binder with the schedules, reservation numbers, packing lists, etc. too.  I’ll show you theirs so far. This next section is mostly just going to be pictures because they’re kind of self explanatory.

daily map and list of things we'll do that day

daily map and list of things we’ll do that day

state fact coloring sheets for each of the 10 states we'll travel through

state fact coloring sheets for each of the 10 states we’ll travel through


various roll-a-drawing activities


how-to drawing pages of several regional animals


loved how the instructions included animal facts and daily scripture


printable junior ranger work books to do before we get to those national parks


wild west sticker scene set found at the Dollar Tree


“paper doll” cut out cars and roads for the boy child


a play dough mat for making silly faces


parts and pieces for a patriotic craft


various coloring and activity pages that somewhat related to our travels


punch out 3d paper craft dinosaurs


printed materials to make a home school style lap book about the oregon trail


oregon trail trivia file folder game

No, not as cool as the computer game we all played in elementary school, but I do plan to buy the kids the ipad version to play too. 😉


a velcro play set my daughter made at school to sing the 5 little monkeys song


another set of lap book materials about desert animals


frozen paper doll set from a friend’s birthday party


melissa and doug reusable sticker scenes (color forms) I punched holes and folded them to fit in the binder.


reusable stickers in baseball card pocket pages protectors

I’m sure I’ve got other stuff I could add to this post, but I don’t have pictures of any of the rest of it at this point. If it seems like a lot, well that’s because it is. I didn’t do it all at once though. We’ve been thinking about going on this trip for over a year and half, so I’ve had a lot of time to brain storm, plan, and to gather ideas and stuff. I always try to have a really good plan in place with back up options and then once the trip starts, it allows me to be completely flexible with it not going the way I planned. My philosophy with plans… better to have and not need than need and not have. The kids may not play with half the stuff we’re bringing, we may slack and not do as much of the educational stuff we brought either, but at least we will have it. Besides, I just enjoy the planning process.


Our Favorite Elf Sightings

5 Dec

Christopher Pop-in-Kins is a little elf who comes to visit our kids every year in December to watch them play and just generally hang out with our family. These are some of our favorite sightings we’ve seen over the past 3 years. Sometimes it’s the usual elf antics we’ve seen from the elves at our friends’ houses, but sometimes it seems he is just inspired by whatever is laying around or things the kids have talked about. 😉

Santa Beard Advent Calendar

27 Nov

A paper mache tree decorated with box ornaments!

When I was growing up, we never really did any kind of Advent calendar, except for maybe a paper chain or the cotton ball Santa beard that we brought home from school. Maybe that’s why I have had a recent interest in Advent calendars. In fact, I have a whole pin board full of fun ideas for them on Pinterest. A couple of years ago I even designed and made my own. I didn’t use it last year because I did the Christmas Adventure Box thing with the kids last year. I liked how each day had a special activity that helped tell the Biblical Christmas story, but I’ve already let the kids put out their nativity this year, which is a big part of that one. I actually got a really good clearance deal on the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar last year and bought a Lego Friendz one for Carly this year. I alternated days putting one mini set of Legos in each box so every other day they’ll each get to put together a little trinket, and that way I’ll have enough of them to do two years of Legos without having to buy more.

Last year I was going to wrap a Christmas book for each day too, but I got too busy and ended up just putting ours in a suitcase in the living room, which worked out well for us. Our Christmas LibraryWe’ll be doing that again this year too.

I have a Santa candy cane calendar that I got from the boy child’s school fundraiser this year, so each day they’ll get one of those (they don’t usually finish a candy cane if I let them eat it, so we’ll just decorate the tree with ours). I also found a cute paper chain that our elf, Christopher, will be bringing. It has the more spiritual spin to it, with scriptures for each day.

I still wanted to do one that was more activity based, but I know it’s hard to plan what day we’ll be able to do which activities, so I wanted it to be more flexible. That’s when I remembered those cotton ball Santa beards from my childhood. I thought, what if it had activities instead of numbers? Then it works more like a winter bucket list (I also have a thing for all the cute variations of seasonal bucket lists out there too!)

So I found this traditional Santa Beard here, erased the numbers, colored it in, and added some text. Feel free to download whichever version you like!

Activity Colored

Activity Colored Page

Blank Coloring Page
Blank Coloring Page
Activity Coloring Page

Activity Coloring Page

Blank Colored

Blank Colored Page




End of Summer Review

18 Aug

I’ve obviously been pretty busy this summer since I’ve hardly blogged at all. Here goes another massive update post though. It would appear that I haven’t done any real posts since May!


Jonah’s first soccer class. We accidentally went to the wrong class the first day, because he was apparently supposed to be in an indoor class, but he did great in both. I got my first taste of being a soccer mom I guess. 😉

Birthday party for both/Mother’s day at Mamaw and G-Pa’s house with the Marshes.

Birthday for him at Nonna’s.

Their birthday hauls. It’s about time for a playroom clean-out before Christmas I think

Jonah and Carly’s Joint birthday party with our playgroup friends was a big hit. We managed to pull off a dual theme with Hot Wheels and the animals from the movie Bolt (Which we still haven’t seen yet!)

She threw a fit in a store and tried to pull away from me which popped her elbow out of place, known as Nursemaid’s Elbow. They thought it might also have a fracture since it still hurt when they put it back, so they put her in a cast for a week. No break though. She did ok in the cast, all things considered.

On the day Carly turned two, we moved her out of the crib and turned it into her big girl bed. A few weeks later, I finally got most of the finishing touches done in her big girl room.

Sarah Jenne had her 30th birthday party at a skating rink, so Jonah got to try out skating for the first time. He was a little shaky. I won’t say he loved it, but he tolerated it for the most part. 😉 That was the longest day ever it seemed. Jonah had his last soccer class that morning, then we went to Irving for her birthday, then we went to Aimee’s grad school graduation party at a park in Fort Worth, then dinner with the group. We were all pretty hot and miserable by the end of it, and extremely tired by the time we drove to Tyler that night!

All during the month of May, I’d taken my 2nd round of belly dance classes and I actually got to perform with my class that time. With all of the running and such, I was amazed to be able to fit into my friend’s mom’s size 6 outfit! I’m not that small currently, because… well… summer happened. Lots of travel, lots of parties, and it’s too darn hot to run outside! Maybe I’ll fit in it again soon though.


We had our McCarty Reunion and got to go hang out with some of our cousins at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler. We even managed to drag my mom to the zoo for the first time since they started charging admission! She used to work there when I was a kid, as the veterinary technician. I always thought it was cool when she’d meet up with our class on field trips and show us around. 🙂

We went to a playgroup at our friend’s house and it became apparent that Jonah was way outnumbered with the big kid girls. There were two other baby boys, but Jonah was all on his own with the bathing beauties for the most part. I was just tickled that Carly was able to wear the little swim suit I had worn as a kid. She got lots of compliments on it!

We got memberships to the Heard Museum and Nature Preserve, which was a neat place to go, but we’ve only gone once since the heat has been relentless this summer. I’m looking forward to going again in the fall. Same goes for our Dallas Zoo memberships, bought them a couple of months ago and haven’t even had the chance to go once!

Random side note that I got new curtains for our bedroom. I really want to paint the walls in there, but I’m NOT looking forward to moving our massive furniture around to do so.


We let Jonah go on a bike ride while we were in Tyler. He’s doing pretty good on the big kid bike, so maybe that’s in his near future… to have one at home.

We took the kids to see the 4th of July parade, and I think they both enjoyed their first parade experience… especially the new flags they got.

After the parade we went to help out at our church’s block party. Jason helped with the grilling, and I helped on the water slide. I hadn’t come prepared to get wet, and that’s how my iphone 3 ended up dying. I feel bad that I messed up but then got rewarded by getting a new iphone4. Jason will probably want to upgrade pretty soon too. 😉

Jonah and Carly got invited to their friend, Logan’s, birthday party at Little Gym and had a blast running, jumping, climbing, and rolling all over the place.

Nonna came over to our house for a little birthday party for Jason too. We managed to keep her from bringing cake, but ended up eating too much at Red Hot and Blue instead. 😉

I helped out in the arts and crafts room at the Pandamania VBS at our church. Jonah and Carly both loved getting to play at church all week and stay up past their bed time a little.

I created a chore card and allowance system for the kiddos with give, save, and spend jars. We’ve been doing it for 3 weeks now and it seems to be going pretty well.

After having spent some time at my scrapbooking retreat last weekend, I came home and got all crafty on the Back-to-School playgroup party I was hosting. I had fun making little buffet cards, and ice cream cone wrappers and just making the table look pretty with all of my pretty toys, I mean serving ware. 😀 I got a lot of cute ideas from Pinterest… it’s been a summer-long obsession of mine, but it’s led me to lots of great ideas of things to do with the kids too.

So aside from the Michigan trip in June (which is a whole shutterfly book unto itself at this point) that pretty much wraps up our summer.

Coming This Fall

Jonah gets to meet his pre-k teacher next week, then he starts school on the 29th. He’ll be going 3 days a week, MWF 9-2, at the preschool at our church. While he’s at school, Carly and I will have some much needed one on one time that I’m looking forward to. She’s also going to have a chance to take a dance class with one of her little playgroup friends and a small studio in this lady’s house. She is super excited about it! We’ve got her tap shoes and her ballet outfit. She couldn’t be more tickled! Jason’s going on his Dude Fest next week, where the guys from here meet up in the middle with the ones who moved out east for a weekend of “dude” activities. They’ve got a cabin in Pigeon Forge this year, which is the area we went to as a family 2 years ago. I’m sure he’ll have a good time. Then after that, he will start making regular trips to NM for work. That’s not going to be a lot of fun, but they did approve overtime at least. While he’s going to be gone, I’ll be spending a lot of time getting baby clothes and toys ready for the big consignment sale at the end of next month. I hope to make enough money to buy some sort of hutch/china cabinet for storing my serving pieces and china. Into October we’re flying out to CA for Brent’s wedding, and then we’ll also go to Austin for Murat’s wedding a week later. I’m hoping all of these trips to NM for Jason can get us some more free hotel stays. 😉 Believe it or not, I’ve already started planning for Halloween too. We’re hosting a star wars themed halloween party, so I’ve got to figure out costumes so I can start making them soon. thankfully, Halloween is about as far out as I’m booked at this point!

Seasons of Change Blog Hop

1 Jul

It’s that time again! Time for a season of change at Scrapbook Challenges. I’m excited to be starting my 3rd term on the design team, and as you travel through this blog you’ll get to meet some of the new faces and say goodbye to some of the old ones. As for me, yep, I’m sticking around for a little while longer! Hope you enjoy the hop!

If you’ve just joined in, start over at Brynn’s blog to get rolling! If you came over from Bev’s blog, you’re in the right spot!

So I’m Amanda, as you may have gathered, and like I said, this will be my 3rd term on the DT. I live in Texas around Dallas and I’m a stay at home mommy to Jonah, my 4 year old who acts like he’s 2, and Carly, my 2 year old who thinks she’s 4. hehe I have been scrapping since 2004, and went mostly digital in 2007 (though I went back and made digital albums for 2006 too). You can find all of those up in the tab under my name at the top if you want to see my style. I’m mostly very neat and organized about my layouts, as I’m a little OCD and don’t do random well. Since becoming a member of the Creative Team at Raspberry Road Designs last year though, I’ve expanded my style to be a little more clustered and vintage, as that’s the style of elements they have at RRD.

So here’s the sketch that will be kicking off our Sizzlin’ Summer of Sketches! Stay tuned to the Scrapbook Challenges site for a lot more sketches in July than usual!

Here’s my take on it, with Pepermint Creative’s LATEST FREEBIE KIT “New Do”. It was the perfect kit to go with the perfect sketch to document my daugther’s first hair cut. There were lots of fun elements and papers to choose from just for the occassion!

She liked it so much that now she asks for a haircut everytime we give Jonah one, and we have to give her a fake haircut to appease her pleading. 😉

Now check out the prizes for this fun little hop!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once you’ve stopped drooling, hop on over to Sharyn’s Blog! Nice seeing you!

Money Saving Adventures

15 Jun

I’ve always been a bargin shopper. Generic brands, clearance racks, and deep discount stores have been my friend. I dabbled half heartedly in coupons and price matching before, but after watching the Extreme Couponing show a few times I decided I wanted to learn more. I signed up for the email newsletters from and I’ve gotten my coupons organized in a big binder, just like the pros. 😉

 Now I don’t spend crazy amounts of time on this like the 20-40 hours a week that some of the people on that show do… at most maybe 8 hours a week looking at ads, planning trips, clipping/printing coupons, and studying up on how to get better deals. I don’t spend any more time in the stores than I did before, maybe even less time since I usually have a very detailed list of what I’m there for now. 😉

Now that I’ve been doing things “extreme” for about a week or so, I’m starting to find my groove. I get SEVERAL food store circulars in my Wednesday edition of the briefing (free mini paper from the dallas newspaper, which also has the coupon inserts on saturday and sometimes sunday) I get ads for Albertsons, Tom Thumb, Kroger, Sprouts, Aldi, Terry’s, and Fiesta. I get another one from Market Street, but it’s just 1 page and usually still high on the prices so I don’t really count that one. 😉 I used to just look at the first 4 because I knew I’d never make a special trip to go all the way out to Aldi and I’d feel a little out of place shopping in the hispanic stores. However, now that I’ve started paying attention, I’ve discovered those 3 have some of the best prices on things that Wal-mart will match! Wal-mart will match one store’s generic for theirs, and they will match produce prices, aside from the obvious same brand price matches.

Here’s a little example from my shopping trip today of what I would have paid/price matched/ad it was from:

Milk – 2.38/1.89/Aldi
Pringles – 2.58 ea/.99 ea/Albertsons
       (-$1/2 coupon = .49 ea)
Seedless Watermelon – 3.88/1.99/Sprouts
Red Leaf Lettuce – 1.78/.88/Sprouts
5lb Potatoes – 2.17/.88/Terry’s
Canned Veggies – .68 ea/ .33 ea/ Terry’s
Onions – 1.68 lb/ .33 lb/Terry’s
Red Grapes – 1.98 lb/ .99 lb/Albertson’s
B&J Drinks – 3.47/3.33/Fiesta
18-ct Eggs – 2.46/.99/Fiesta
1lb Block Cheddar – 4.38/3.99/Sprouts
Sliced Cheese – 3.38/2.50/Tom Thumb
Red Bell Pepper – 1.64/.49/Fiesta

TOTAL:  49.39/28.49 (saved 20.90 – 42.3%)

Moral of the story? Check ALL of your adds, make a well organized list, go to wal-mart during non-peak hours, keep the cart organized by sales ad while you shop (as much as your two and four year old will allow at least) and warn the cashier/apologize in advance for all the price matching you’re about to do. 🙂 Don’t forget your coupons! 🙂

My next big task for this weekend is to try my hand at Freezer Cooking Day, where you make a bunch of meals at a time so you can freeze them and cut down on time in the kitchen for the rest of the month. We’ll see how that goes, but I plan to put away a lot of breakfast burritos, quiche, casseroles, and some baked potatoes. Fingers crossed!

Scrapping Olympics

22 May

It sounds silly to the non-scrapper I’m sure, but we have been having a fun weekend on the Scrapbook Challenges site, with a fun little set of challenges just for us on the Design Team. I was the 3rd “runner” in a baton race for team b! I don’t know who the winners are yet, but I think my team did great!


Jolanda was given this inspiration sketch on Friday to scrap as fast as she could.

Then on Saturday the baton was passed when Jolanda’s play time layout was send to Jowlina!

So this morning I received Jowlina’s layout as inspiration for my page. I had no idea until it arrived that we would HAVE to do a paper layout. Until that point I had been planning on doing a digital page. This was no ordinary baton race either… it was the HURDLES! Sookie, who was the one who started this whole thing, had 5 hurdles for us to jump:

  1. Journal is a must!
  2. Spray some mist
  3. Use an altered chipboard on your layout. 
    Please don’t use a previously altered chipboard.
  4. Sorry, no digitals please 
  5. Must be 12×12

Boy what a challenge! I only have one scrapbook that has anyspace left for a 12×12, so trying to come up with a page that’d be relevant to my daughter’s first year was also a must. I only have one color of mist… orange. o_O And the only chipboard I have is an alpha with pink grid lines on it. With not very many photos laying around to choose from and only an hour and 15 minutes to work on it before church this morning, the adrenaline was raging full force. I can’t believe I got it done in time.

Orange mist on pink paper makes it less orange. 😉 A few scraps of corogated cardboard, some sanded and inked chipboard letters, and a few pieces of scrap paper cut into banners were the details that pulled it all together.

Both of my team mates did stitching around the circles, but with limited time and zero experience on that, I decided to go with some sketchy doodles instead. it’s more my style anyway. I’m certainly glad I had this picture of Nana because this will be the perfect page to go at the end of Carly’s book. 🙂

Among the other events we’ve had this weekend was the Gymnastics Challenge, to create a romantic-style page with flowers. So I went ahead and did the letter R page for my ABC’s of Me album:

And the Pentathalon, to create a page using 5 different techniques of our choice, for which I did Ghost Journaling, Recoloring, Mock Layering, Fussy Cutting, and Drow Shadowing:

Today’s event is Swimming, to use swirls and transparencies on a page, but I’m going to wait to do that until tonight since Jason’s getting on a plane to head to NJ for the week in a few hours. I’ll have lots of time to work on it after the kids are in bed I guess!

These great challenges and the prizes that come with them were made possible by some very generous sponsors: Nikki Sivils, The Paper Trail, Lawn Fawn and The Cutting Cafe. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll win one of the events and get one of the cool prize packages! 🙂