Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pretty Little Studio Giveaway *WINNER*

Drum roll, please...the winner of the Pretty Little Studio goodies is Sue! Congratulations! Please send me your full name and address and I'll get these right out to you. Have a great day everyone and thank you for your sweet comments and for participating in the giveaway!
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It Was Love at First Bite

Alexa brought a fun cookbook home from school that was all about cake pops/balls. Some of the designs are so clever in the way they use different sprinkles to make cat's ears, bunny tails, etc. I guess it's kind of like scrapbooking, just on cake, right? LOL! Anyway, I told her we could try making basic cake balls, meaning she could pick a cake flavor, a coating flavor, and some sprinkles. Since Friday was a day off from school (Superintendent's Day), she invited her friend, Taylor, over. While the girls played, I baked a 13 x 9" chocolate cake, let it cool, and then crumbled it (I'm not sure I'm sold on the merits of crumbling up a perfectly good cake yet, LOL!). After that I called the girls down and they used a portion scoop to make the cake balls and then dipped them in chocolate coating and decorated them with Valentine sprinkles. Let's just say they were chomping at the bit to try one as soon as they finished and it was definitely love at first bite. :)
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Pretty Little Studio Giveaway

I received a wonderful package from Pretty Little Studio last week, full of spring-, summer-, and winter-themed vintage flash cards, train tickets, and other stuff and I decided I wanted to share this happy goodness with one of my blog readers. If you'd like to win an envelope of mixed PLS goodies from me, just leave a comment telling me what the theme of your current scrap booking project is. :) I'll pick a random winner on Tuesday.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Camp 7 Hills

Alexa had her first (and probably last, LOL) experience at sleep over camp last summer. She went off, with a friend, for four days and three nights at a Girl Scout camp two hours from us (her idea). She hated it from the start and her first letter home said she was "crying buckets" and described how she would never have a good time if she was so sad. OK, that broke my heart BUT it also reminded me of my camp letters home (which I have) and how much I hated it and wanted to come home. So, like the journaling says, "like mother, like daughter!" LOL!

Journaling reads: I’d love to say you enjoyed your first overnight Girl Scout camp experience, but you didn’t. You went to Camp Seven Hills in Holland, NY for three nights. Your first letter said you were “crying buckets” and had asked to come home. You know what? I’m not really surprised that you didn’t like it. I absolutely hated my stay at Camp Runnels Girl Scout camp

(Pelham, NH) and it was only 30 minutes from home. You were two hours away! Like mother, like daughter, I guess! :) August 7-10, 2011

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Making of a Responsible Girl

I know I'm not alone when I say that teaching kids to be responsible is a difficult and lengthy lesson, one that I sometimes don't have patience for. When I did this page, we had tried so many different ways to help Alexa remember to do her chores. Nothing stuck. I'm happy to say that Tom found a cat-themed (because Alexa is not only obsessed with cats, but animals in general) chore chart online and it is working wonders! Alexa chose to put it on the fridge so she can see it all the time and remember to take care of her responsibilities. Yay! :)

Journaling reads: Teaching you to be a responsible girl has been frustrating for all of us. We’ve tried calendars, write-on/wipe-off boards, weekly meetings, reminders, punishments...you name it! Your daily chores are to make your bed, get yourself ready for your day, feed the cat, clean the litter box, set the dinner table, and empty the recycling. It doesn’t seem like a long list, especially for a girl your age, but there’s always one or more things that get forgotten. I know we’ll get there, but the question is when...
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Am Blessed

Tom turned 55 (yeah, I'm married to an old man, LOL!) on Saturday, so this pic is from two years ago. Anyway, we celebrated with gifts, a birthday breakfast cooked by Alexa, and a delicious dinner at Bonefish Grill. Birthdays tend to make me sentimental. During the every day, it's easy to get caught up in the stuff that doesn't go right so I'm trying to be mindful of the good things. Case in point, I wasn't feeling well on Saturday morning so Tom went out to get me something I needed. He is incredibly supportive of my scrapbooking and always celebrates a page being picked up for publication. He brings me meds and an ice pack when I have a migraine, he's super helpful around the house (and handy with just about anything too) and isn't afraid to take over the kitchen to give me a break. He is a quiet, gentle soul and sometimes I forget that. We are different, and that's OK. :)
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting to Know You

The Bing Crosby song, Getting to Know You, from the King and I gave me an idea. In order for you to know a bit more about me (and me about you), I thought I'd list a few things/quirks about me and in return, you'll do the same (either in the comments section on my blog or a Getting to Know You post of your own on your blog). So start humming, or singing along, as you read, LOL:

Getting to know you.
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

1. My sister, Deborah, introduced me to the card game, Set, about two years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I do the online puzzle every day. Just in case you don't know about it or you're a Set junkie like me, here's a link to the New York Times daily puzzle. While you're there, be sure to test your word skill with the daily Quiddler puzzle too. :)

2. I love, love, love crawling into a freshly made bed!

3. I gently rub my feet together when I'm going to sleep. :)

4. I used to own a bakery with my mom.

5. I don't like my handwriting, except when I write with certain pens or pencils.

6. I reminisced this morning about when I was young and how I loved to wear the paper bands from my father's cigars as a ring. LOL! He didn't smoke them often which is probably why I thought the band was so neat.

7. I absolutely love steel cut oatmeal, especially when it's mixed with shredded apple, sliced almonds, and brown sugar.

8. I love the smell of peonies.

9. Alexa and I are going to try making caking pops for the first time this weekend. I have all of the ingredients ready. :)

10. Israel is the furthest I've ever been from home.

So now it's your turn. Tell me about yourself! :) I like Getting to Know you!
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Monday, January 23, 2012

At Camp Piperwood

Happy Monday! This photo has been sitting on my craft table since August 2010. Each time my friend Rachel comes over to scrap, she asks me when I'm going to scrap it. Well, yesterday was the day. LOL! The photo was originally an 8x10 surrounded by an overdone tie dye border. I just wasn't digging the tie dye and decided to trim the photo down to get rid of it. I'm glad I did because then I was able to focus on the colors in the photo without the border competing for attention. I'm happy with the fun, colorful result although now that I see it posted, I may add some cute colorful pearls to the flower border...Always a work in progress, right? :)
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Tough Stuff

Tough stuff, as in difficult things to deal with, and tough sisters who worked together through it all. My Dad's assistant captured this photo of us after cleaning out the family lake house in NH. It was hard to revisit 35 years worth of memories and to probably say what would be our final goodbye.

Journaling reads (in my stinky handwriting, LOL): The Rukin girls have a quiet moment beside Lake Winnepesaukee after cleaning out the house in Moultonboro, NH. Packing up, and sorting through 35 years of memories was tough stuff!
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a Date

Are you guys sick of holiday layouts yet? Bear with me for this last one (at least for 2011, LOL!) Tom bought tickets to see Jim Brickman as a Hanukkah gift. It was what he did the morning of the show that really touched me...he sent me a "formal" invitation that he designed himself. Yeah, he definitely earned some points with this. LOL!

Journaling reads: I knew Daddy had gotten tickets to see Jim Brickman in concert as a Hanukkah gift. However, I was completely surprised by the beautiful invitation he designed and emailed to me on the morning of the event. It made the gift even more special. We ended up having dinner at Jasmine’s because Max’s isn’t open for dinner, but it was just nice to spend some time together as adults.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In One Word

Bo Bunny's Timepiece collection was the perfect way to scrap this portrait photo of my Dad.

This is another page for Dad's memorial album. After the funeral, Alexa went around and asked us all to describe Dad in one word. She even wrote down all of the answers (this kid is going to be a journalist some day, LOL!) It was interesting to see everyone's answers, especially the grandchildren. Anyway, I wanted to get some of the answers down on a page so here it is. :)

Journaling reads: While sitting shiva in Boston, Alexa went around and asked people to describe Dad in one word.

Here are some of the responses: Reni/Giver, Tom/Dynamic, Kobi/Extraordinary, Zev/Math whiz, Kira/Motivating, Deborah/Teacher, Sydnie/Nice, Lisa/Generous, Morreen/Passionate, David/Giving, Steve/Loving, Alexa/Amazing, Gil/Big-hearted, Roger/Unique.

It is evident that Dad’s many qualities were evident and came shining through to all of us.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

I Am Thankful 4 You

Lots of Jillibean Soup Sweet & Sour goodness on here. I can't get enough of this collection and keep ordering more. LOL!

Alexa wrote me this note around Thanksgiving time. I know all parents say this, but she is an amazing kid, wise beyond her years. I am so thankful for her and so happy that I get to be her mom. :)

Journaling reads: I am so thankful that you are my daughter. You constantly surprise me with your insight and wisdom. You are sensitive and caring about other people’s feelings and you just have a special way about you. You gave me this note around Thanksgiving time and it really touched me, not only because you said you were thankful for me, but because you realized that it had been a hard year for me with PopPop passing away. I love you my sweet girl. You are special and I am so glad you are in my life.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

I Am Stuffed

Alexa made this adorable snowman in Art Club this week. It's made entirely from socks, felt, fabric, and fibers. He fits in perfectly with my little snowman collection that includes some whimsical ones, one primitive piece, a snowball candle, and a cute snowman couple toasting marshmallows. :)
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Thursday, January 12, 2012


This was a tough one to get on paper. In fact, I've been putting it off for almost a year now. It's about the birthday card I made for my Dad last year, but never got to give him. :(

Journaling reads:

Dad, I made this card for your 70th birthday except I never got to give it to you. The girls and I even created a beautiful photo book for you. This was a birthday the whole family was supposed to celebrate with you in Florida, something you had looked forward to, and planned, for months. We were going to cruise the Intracoastal, have a birthday dinner, and do some sightseeing over the course of five days. On the morning of February 3rd you even emailed the itinerary to all of us. Later that morning you had the spontaneous bleed in your brain. Even though we spent your birthday together, it was in a hospital room and you were in a coma. One week later, you passed away...

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Girl Talk 2

A couple of weekends ago, Alexa and I worked together to decorate this journal that we ended up calling "Girl Talk". In it we write notes to each other, we share our thoughts, and just write little love notes. I suggested this as a way to communicate, not as a replacement to face-to-face interaction, but as a way for Alexa to let her thoughts out about being a tween, her changing body, etc. So far we haven't discussed any "big" topics, but I'm hoping she'll use it if (and when) that kind of time ever comes.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Foiled Again

This is what you get when a 10 year old girl gets her hands on a roll of silver duct tape. LOL!

Journaling reads: You asked Daddy if you could use a roll of his duct tape. You cut hearts, squares and a big A out of the tape to decorate the cover of your school binder. You then made an I Love You piece of artwork for me and one for Daddy. At this point you questioned whether you were wasting the tape and thought you should stop. You decided to make one more creation...a goatee and mustache. It definitely suits your silly, playful side and I love that you let me take pictures of your poses (although you told me I couldnt post them on Facebook. :)
Based on a PageMaps sketch.
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Friday, January 6, 2012

It Is Elementary

(Photo by LifeTouch)

It's no secret that I dislike scrapping school portraits but I developed an even bigger aversion to them when Alexa started choosing her own background (which was in 3rd grade). LOL! I'm all for dressing her in colors that are complementary to one of the standard, solid backdrops that are offered. Alexa, on the other hand, has different ideas. This year she chose a psychedelic, rainbow-like backdrop and I had no clue what to do with it. So what did I do? When I wasn't staring at the picture, trying to figure out how to scrap it, I hid it at the bottom of the pile of pics waiting to be scrapped (along with the class photos from 3rd and 4th grade, LOL!) That's what any other scrapper would do, right?

Yesterday I had an "aha" moment and realized I should use Doodlebug's Feeling Groovy collection (with a bit of Jillibean Soup mixed in for good measure) and be done with it. Yay! I'm now done...until next year. :)

Oh, and the clock embellishment (cut from a flash card) was a sweet RAK from Connie. I was so happy to be able to use it! :)

If you've scrapped a school picture without using school-related papers, I'd love to see. Thanks so much!
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter Concert Program Cover Girl

All of the fifth grade students at Alexa's school were invited to submit a drawing (or two or three, LOL) for the Winter Concert program cover. The school planned to choose six to use and Alexa's was one of them. I love the sweet snowman and how she made a play on words by having the present say, "We present to you our band, orchestra and chorus." Does this count as her first publication? LOL!
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lip Smackers

The tween years have definitely hit our house. Alexa is really into lip glosses and has amassed quite a collection of them. The upside is that her lips are never dry. LOL!
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1st Violin

I am officially in love with Simple Stories' Yearography collection! :) The colors are stunning and the paper designs are so easy to work with. I'd love to get some more inspiration for using these papers, so if you've made a layout (or other project) with them, please link me up.
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Magical Light

One last Hanukkah page to share with you. This was a hard one to do for some reason. It just wouldn't come together and I fought with it for days. Thankfully it's done and I'm mostly happy with it. I told Alexa if I could find an artist that could actually make this menorah for me, I'd be thrilled. :)
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