Monday, January 30, 2012

Snuggling Benefits

I love snuggling. There are books out there say snuggling is good for the you, but don't quote me on that though. Jake definitely has got the right idea in the layout below. Lots of kids want to grow up quickly so that they can do whatever they want. Which you find out quickly when you grow up that it isn't true.  It is when you are a baby, that you can do whatever you want. You eat, sleep, poop as you please. And everyone likes you regardless of what you decide to do. 

Jake looks so cozy in his car seat, wrapped in his blankie. I recently purchased a new tool. It is the We R Memory Keepers' Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper. It was meant for the Project Life I wanted to start. Unfortunately, I haven't started it because I can't really afford to buy the kit and sleeves. I really enjoyed the rounded corners. To some, it may not make a big difference; but I enjoy the curved corners. I think it has a softer look to it. And I love the chip board J for Jake.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Photo Faces

This little guy has a bunch of facial expressions to share with us. If you look closely, he looks quite smug in a few. Sometimes I can image what he is thinking, like " yeah, I know I am good looking" He is just the darling to do so.

Most of the time, I just crop the photo and leave it at that. But recently, I enjoy the white borders. It adds dimension to the photo, as if they are the photo booth print outs. I love rub-ons because is it like a seamless sticker. That is what the ABC blocks are. Originally I was going to do each of the letters separately, but I like my own uniquely created ABC blocks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Way to Soothe My Heart

For the passed few mornings I wake up to do applications; but, today it took me an extra ounce or two of motivation to start. Instead, I took a short break to check up on prices for 12x12 frames. I went to the few craft stores in the area; I even checked Target. The trips were refreshing because it was just me walking around not rushed and enjoying window shopping. I headed to Michaels with no intention of buying anything. Until I saw "All Slice Design Cards: $4.99". Unless you hunt down affordable slice design cards like me, you wouldn't understand the excitement I felt. The goal of not spending any money went out the door.  These design cards retail for $50 dollars a piece; on ebay, it is about $15. Instantly, I looked around to check if I was mistaken. Too bad I got there late. There were many hangers empty; but, I managed to pick nine that I really liked and one for a friend. After a quick scroll through the rest of the store and checking on frame prices, I went to the register to pay. This next part threw me in for a loop. The design cards rang up for $2. Yes. TWO dollars. Oh the joy! I immediately went back to the shelf to pick up all the other ones I declined and a few more for my friend. In my basket was also a pack of slice embossing tips. For 17 design cards and a pack of embossing tips I spent approximately $40. Yes, this doesn't happen often. It is now officially time for me to get down to business. Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

(F)unemployment days

(F)unemployment: this term was used by a friend to describe the status of being jobless. It is my first week of no work and no school. One may see it as a break, but I am surely not feeling that way about it. Today is only the second day of week one and I think I am making great progress. I do a few applications in the morning and then scrapbook a little bit at night depending on the time. "Think positively" is the mentality I am going to go for as I ride out this stage of my life.

To keep things cheerful, I am going to share a layout I had made my cousin. Of the many no responses I received, my cousin was super enthusiastic about sending me photos to scrapbook with. This made me really excited because the subjects of the photos were not me; it was Baby Jake. There will probably be a whole series of these. I hope you enjoy them.

This layout gives me a 'full' feeling because it is covered from head to toe. I love how I was able to fill the entire page. Of course, Baby Jake brighten up the page with his cute little face. Journaling is a technique most scrapper do because it helps them record thoughts and memories. Since I didn't take these photos, it was more difficult for me to speak on my feelings. I was able to fill in the journal space with definitions to describe Jake. The little blue envelope in the top left corner opens up. I filled it with confetti so it is slightly interactive.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Incomplete Album

Before I went on vacation, I wanted to make a few more layouts. I had already print a number of photos from my Italy trip. As I was flipping through my album for last winter's Germany and London trip, I noticed I didn't complete it. I had only finished the portion of my trip in Germany and two layouts into the London portion. In three days, I created 11 pages about London; I was very impressed with myself.

I had spotted a spool of twine on the sale table at one of my favorite stores - Anthropologie. They were having a 75% off wrap and trim items that were left over from the holiday season. I have seen some people use twine on their projects. So I gave the medium a try on a few pages. Below are the three different ways I used it.

1. Wrapping the twine around card stock 

2. Framing and dividing pictures

 3. Stringing the flags

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Uhhh.. Really?

I am not a lucky person, whenever those raffles happen I never win. But the inner me always hopes that a miracle will happen. Bella Blvd Studio was doing a blog hop giveaway for their owner/founder's, Stephanie's, Birthday. I checked out a few blogs and left a few well wishes comments thinking I wouldn't win.

I had fell behind on my reader during the holidays. So I haven't read the Bella Blvd Studio in awhile. I checked the winners list on Jan 1, when the blog entry was for Dec 23. I saw that a "Mandy" had won. I couldn't remember what I wrote so I decided to go check if it was my comment, which leads me to the conclusion of this story.. I won a Bella Blvd Studio prize!

Because I have been on vacation, I did not find out what I got until I returned home.

Ugh, now I can't say I never win anything. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From Sunny to Rainy

Martin and I ended our trip with a splash and I mean it quite literally. Our last Groupon activity was a parasailing adventure along the shore. Two issues: I am afraid of heights and I get seasick. The captain asked me what I was doing on the boat. Frankly, I really wanted to try something new. It was super fun. The ascending wasn't even scary and I had my eyes open the entire time. Unfortunately, again, I was unable to get photos. Regardless, it is all in my memory.

Afterwards, we packed, walked around town and rested before our nine hour flight home, back to good old New Jersey. The sun was bright and warm in the state of Hawai'i. When we landed in Jersey, it was gloomy and gray. I am sure that I cannot live in Hawai'i because I probably get island fever quickly. But it is just too cold in New Jersey.

As my vacation comes to a close, I am dreading the thought of real life. This consist of job applications, interviews, and searching for my life's purpose. I hope things fall into place soon because I have a whole life to live, but I don't have any money to live it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Catching Hawaiian Waves

Today we ventured out to the North Shore Area. Martin and I had purchased a Groupon for a surfing lessons. Yes, I said surfing lessons...and I would like to make clear that our money was not wasted. Our instructor brought us out to an area where beginners could learn in, Puaena Point Beach Park. It is located in a historical town called Haleiwa. We chose not to rent a car, so it took us 1.5 hours to get there by bus from Waikiki. We even passed the Dole Pineapple Plantation on the way.

Martin was more successful on his first try than me, but I did not fail. I was able to stand up after a few more tries. Surfing is extremely tiring, but you'd be surprised that the paddling is what tires out the surfer more. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get any pictures.

Later we went and had shaved ice at Masumoto. Martin and I shared a large one. Super yummy and soothing after all that activity.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hike Up Diamond Head

As Martin is still snoozing away, I am up and wide awake. I don't think I ever adjusted to any time zone, so hopefully when we get back to NJ it won't be difficult to readjust. It surely isn't early in NJ, but I am sure I woke up before 7 am Hawai'i time. Yesterday, we had a relatively tiring-short morning. After breakfast, Martin and I headed out to hike Diamond Head. We have walked longer and farther distances so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The views are breathtaking from the top; they were also gorgeous along the way to the top.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Aloha from Hawai'i

Hello World from Hawai'i (technically, O'ahu)! Martin and I have been here for one and a half days and we are getting lots of SUN! The temperatures are quite ideal and pleasant. We walked around our first afternoon, after we grabbed some lunch. Today, we went to Pearl Harbor. I learned so much today that I think my Godfather would be quite proud that I remember a lot of it.

With USS Arizona Anchor

On the USS Arizona Memorial

International Food Market- where we got dinner
View of the sun setting from hotel room

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Part One Down

As the post is published, hopefully Martin and I will be on our way to the next destination. On our last full day in SF, we did the typical tourist activities because that is what you are suppose to do as tourists. We saw the cable car the first day we arrived; but we decided to save it for later.  For the segway tour we had gotten through Groupon, it was located near Fisherman's Wharf. So we planned to take the Powell-Hyde Cable Car to that area. To continue the tourist activities, we went early to have lunch at the IN-N-OUT. Our segway tour was fun, but by the end of the tour I was freezing. Once the sun set, the temperature drops quickly. To conclude our SF stay, we had the popular Dungeness Crab.

Martin and I enjoyed the San Francisco portion of the vacation. Now we are off to ...Hawaii!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Day in San Francisco

Monday was our free day in San Francisco. There were no plans to do anything specific. I had wanted to go see the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park. Martin, on the other hand, wanted to go to Palo Alto. In the end, we did both. First stop of our day was to the garden because it closes earlier.

Later, we took the Caltrain south to Palo Alto. If Martin did not tell me, I would not have known that Stanford is located there. My first thought was, I know someone who attends Stanford. Luckily, I was able to reach an old high school friend, Aaron, and he had time to walk around the campus with Martin and me. The three of us ended the evening going to downtown Palo Alto for some dinner.

Aaron and I in front of one of the Business School buildings.

Hilly San Francisco

I am encountered some push back from my body for this trip. My eyes are red and sore but I am not tired. From Sunday night into a Monday morning, I slept a total of twelve hours, but my eyes would not stay open and my squinting is causing me headaches. That is why I am a bit behind on the regular entry. Regardless, Martin and I are continuing our relaxing and fun vacation. 

On Sunday, we walked all the way from our hotel located downtown to Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, we walked. How long? You ask. It took us over an hour. There were three massive hills that we have to climb and descend. Along the way we stopped at Lombard Street. It is known to be the "crookedest street". We also stopped at Ghirardelli Square only because I remember my uncle taking my family there the first time I visited San Francisco. 

Warm enough to be in a tank top

We had the popular clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl along the Fisherman's Wharf. Most of our time was spent wandering Pier 39 and sitting in the sun. The sea lions were out by the pier as well for us to see. All the time was being spent before our next Groupon activity: boat tour around the Bay. Thank goodness it was only an hour and a half long, because the last time I went on a whale tour I became extremely seasick. The view gave us fantastic photo spots. We conclude the day earlier than usual, but I had no complaints because I was extremely exhausted. 

Yummy! Calm Chowder.

Lazy Bums.
In the Bay

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Good Morning San Francisco

Our first full day in California was extremely eventful with some fantastic weather. We were told multiple times throughout the day about how awesome the weather was and will be the rest of the time that we are here. Jet lag has not been affecting me as much as it has been affecting Martin. Regardless of the time change, we took advantage of most of the day outside, first heading toward SF Chinatown going through Union Square. Epicure magazine recommended a few good cheap eats in the area and we picked Capital Restaurant. We spent an hour or two exploring the oldest Chinatown in the nation.

Around two in the afternoon, we waited around Union Square to use our first Groupon for a City by the Bay Tour. Our tour guide was active and trying to keep things upbeat. It was a 3.5 hour tour around the important areas of San Francisco.

7 Sisters - Painted Ladies - Postcard Row - Full House Opening Scene
At Twin Peaks with a Golden Gate Park in the background
At Fort Point with Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Palace of Fine Arts
After our afternoon bus tour, we meet up with my Uncle John, Aunt Terry and their family for dinner. We had Korean BBQ in the Inner Richmond Area. Later, we went to Japantown for dessert. This not only allowed me to see my family, but to go to other parts of San Francisco.

Dinner with my family in the area
Martin and I with my Cousins in a Japantown Mall
It's going to be another fun day. To be continued...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

West Coast Bound

As Martin and I are winding down our travel day and first afternoon in San Francisco, California, it is already passed midnight in New Jersey. The travel portion of the trip went relatively smoothly. We only had a minor hiccup of overweight luggage by three pounds. Our hotel is quite cozy and meets all our needs. We took a stroll up Market Street to Union Square. Only took a few pictures today; hopefully I will have more to share tomorrow.

Above the Mountains
On the way to Cali
San Francisco, CA City Hall

Proof that we are there!

Inside City Hall

Pigeons at Union Square 

Powell Street with Cable Cars

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Michael

As this entry is published, hopefully I am boarding a plane with Martin heading to the West coast. I am off on my winter vacation! I am super excited because we are going somewhere I haven't been before, I won't say just where yet. Martin is probably more excited about California than I am because I have already been. More about that later, we can be tracked through my blog in the up-coming days. 

Above is the layout for baby Michael Rivera. He always looks so comfortable in his mommy and daddy's arms.  In this arrangement, I used Sassafras paper whimsies. These cards were whimsical in a child's theme. I cropped the pictures to mimic the shape of the number cards. I wanted to add dimension to the layout; the buttons on card no. 2 and no. 7 were a simple touch.

This is the end of the series from Cynthia's pictures. I have received a few more and are working on those diligently. Hopefully, I will have some more layouts to show after I get back from vacation. If not, I definitely will have a lot more pictures to scrap.