I think I might have to say the entire kitchen. The kitchen I have in our new home is so much larger than our last one and it has the 2 things I really wanted - dark wood cabinets & stainless steel appliances. Add to that the "restrained gold" walls and our new buffett from Pier 1 and I am loving it! The only thing I'd like to add is a tile backsplash - but we have plenty of time for that.
If I had to pick one specific item...it'd be Paco! When we went to Key West last year, we kept seeing these metal lizards painted in bright colors for sale everywhere. They were "the thing". I had to have one (and got one, of course). I named him Paco and he's my little buddy. He stood out better in the last kitchen and is a bit more "hidden" in this one - but he's there. I'll have to remember to take a photo. It's funny how many people have come into the new house and walked into the kitchen and asked where my lizard is!
Matt's brother rented a golf cart last year. Once the kids got a taste of that, he is stuck doing it every year now. They love taking the cart up to WAVES, one of those tacky tourist stores. I do NOT want to know how much of our money went to that stupid store this year!
This first one is just Matt & Spencer.
The driver is Matt's brother. The older boy in the back with Spencer is Matt's nephew/Spencer's cousin and his friend is the kid in the middle.
This is Matt and Spencer in a float in the pool...bet you couldn't have figured out those details on your own, huh???
Here are some pictures of our beach vacation. They aren't the best quality but they were taken on one of those disposable waterproof cameras...
Spencer on his boogie board. This is his all-time favorite beach activity.
Matt (right) and his brother on the beach.
Matt playing Bacci ball (I won!)
John Grisham's The Broker is the book I haven't quite finished yet. This is his most recent novel. Though I'm not done with it, I'd still recommend it. If you like his others, you'd like this one. Unless the ending is horrible, I doubt I'll be disappointed.
The first book I read on vacation was Dorothea Benton Frank's Shem Creek. All of her books are based in South Carolina, which is one reason I'm such a fan. What was really cool was that we actually drove over Shem Creek while I was reading this book in the car - COOL. Anyway, like her others, I really enjoyed this book. Most of her stories have a similar premise - a woman (usually divorced) returns home to the South with at least one teenaged daughter. However, the stories above and beyond that are all very different and enjoyable. They usually make you laugh and cry. She has a great sense of humor. And there is usually a good romantic storyline as well.
The 2nd book I read on vacation was James Patterson's Roses Are Red, a novel in the Alex Cross series. I have read many of these, though out of order. If I could do it over again, I'd probably try to read them in order, but they are still quite enjoyable. I have one tiny complaint (don't read if you don't a tad bit of detail revealed). It seems like EVERY time Alex has a love interest, she is murdered, kidnapped, etc. I don't care if you're a super cop, FBI, whatever - what are the chances that happens to woman, after woman, after woman??? Anyway, that is my one and only complaint about the series! Other than that, I love them all (and I can always see Morgan Freeman as Alex in my head as I read).
Challenge is a 3x10 Birthday challenge – list 10 favorite birthday memories, gifts and ways I’d like to get pampered on the next birthday. I didn’t get to 10 on all of them…but at least I did something.
10 favorite birthday memories
1) My 16th birthday party – We had a pool party at my aunt’s house. I always had a hard time getting a big crowd together for my birthday b/c it was in the summer and people were always on vacation. However, I had a good turnout for this one and it was a lot of fun.
2) I don’t remember the year but I was very young (4 or 5, maybe) and my mom made me the coolest Wonder Woman cake. She always made me cool cakes when I was younger.
3) When I was younger, I loved Cabbage Patch Kids and eventually had a total of 9. But I remember one birthday I got THREE – a set of twins and then a preemie I was so excited.
4) My 18th birthday was cool because it was right before I went off to college and people got me a lot of neat stuff to take to school with me.
5) My all time favorite birthday was probably my 21st. I was in college sharing an apartment with 2 friends. I wanted a Jimmy Buffet party and that’s what I got. We decorated the apartment to the nines with luau/JB type stuff. I had a family party/cookout during the day and all my family came into town and then I had the “friend” party that night…which I only remember up to a point – ha! It was an absolute blast.
6) A couple of years ago, I celebrated with my sister at her house – my BIL’s birthday is a few days after mine. We had a great time…nothing too extraordinary but a good time.
7) Matt took me out to a nice restaurant one year and we both dressed up and all…it was very nice.
10 favorite birthday gifts
This is tough. It seems like all the gifts that stand out are Christmas gifts! Ugh…
1) This is probably a favorite. My oldest sister surprised me with tickets to a New Kids on the Block concert!!! That was the BEST!
2) I mentioned this above, but one year I got 3 Cabbage Patch Kids and thought I had hit heaven.
3) Before going off to college, a friend gave me a laundry basket full of college necessities like towels, plastic (but super cute) dishes, etc. I thought it was such a creative and useful idea (and I thought of that friend every time I used those items).
4) At that Jimmy Buffett party mentioned above I got a lot of really cool Jimmy Buffett gifts too! (and a lot of liquor from friends LOL)
5) Same birthday, my mom got me a video camera! What fun!!!!
6) One year…about 3 years ago, Matt got me a gift cerfiticate for my first ever massage – HEAVEN!
7) Funniest gift was the same year…my sister gave me a bracelet in a tobacco tin painted blue that said “Blue Man Chew” because they made fun of me for thinking that Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” said “Blue Man Chew” instead of “Fu Man Chu”.
10 ways to be pampered on my next birthday
1) Day or weekend to crop non-stop
3) A trip somewhere tropical, like Jamaica
4) A trip to Charleston to stay in a B&B and shop all weekend, or do whatever.
5) A nice dinner out where dressy clothes are required
6) A bottle of wine and some tiramisu
This would be the delicious Kahlua cake and my 7 candles...
Spencer being goofy!
Me, the birthday girl, with my SUPER cute Gamecocks bag that my sister got as my gift!
I created this layout for a challenge at Scrappin' Fun. It was pretty broad - just use summer pictures and include the word "summer" in your layout somewhere (it's in my journaling). The photos are from last year's family vacation to the beach. This helped get me in the spirit for this year's - we are leaving Sunday!
Patterned paper: “Ocean Words”, Carolee Creations; “Beach Scenes”, Two Busy Moms
“Frost White” ink pad: Colorbox
Font: “The Blue Cabin”
I got the basic design from this sketch at PageMaps.
A – attitude, analyst, aunt
B – blue eyes, blonde
C – computers, cross-stitching (when I have time), Chi Omega, corona light, creative
D – DVR, daugter
E - energetic
F – friend, fair skin, fiesty
G - gardening
H – Holly, of course.
I - independent
J - jovial
K – kind hearted
L - loving
M – music lover
N - neat
O –overweight (at least in my opinion), opinionated, organized
P – pushy, prude
Q – queen (according to my sisters who seem to think I’m spoiled)
R – Reading, romantic, republican (I think)
S – Scrapbooking, Stepmom, sister, sassy, stubborn, southern
T – television (too much), talkative, temper, twenty-eight
U – unanimous (I agree with myself)
V – Very ___ (fill in the blank)
W- wife, wishful, water lover
X – give me a break…what words actually start with X???
Y - youthful
Z - zany
I'm hosting 2 challenges at Scrappin' Fun. One of them is a sketch challenge and I chose this from PageMaps. I thought it was different than most and I had a lot of fun using it. Even though I can't participate in the challenge, I still wanted to use the sketch.
This layout is of my last day at my previous job (Dec 2004). I included a few pictures of me with coworkers, the warehouse area (even though I worked in the office area...not sure why I took that picture) and a card from flowers that one of the coworkers sent me. The tab is an actual fabric label from one of our products. (I worked for Waverly Home Fashions - we made bedding, draperies, etc).
Patterned paper - Scenic Route
Letter stickers - Mrs. Grossman
Photo turns - unknown
Stitch stamp - Hero Arts
pen - Sharpie
We do tacos at home a lot. It's not the same but still tasty and Spencer likes it. I usually buy the hard & soft shell kit from Old El Paso. We use beef (I hate chicken in mexican food). Toppings include onion, tomato, lettuce, refried beans, salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese. We have also found a cheese in the stores that is almost as good as the restaurant cheese dip. The brand is Gordo's.
I did this layout based on a sketch at 3KPScrap - click here to see it. It's a 12"x12" sketch and I did an 8"x8" page for Rio's album so I had to scale everything down. Due to the smaller size, I didn't have room for the large punctuation.There is no journaling because this was pretty much just a random "photo shoot" of the dog about a year ago.
Title: Carolee's Creations
Patterned Paper: denim (unknown), dog (Autumn Leaves
Copper ink pad: Ink It Up
And then here's Spencer doing his "hula" dance. A while back he just started doing this. He'll swing his hips and go "hula, hula hula"...it's pretty funny.
Today we made our first visit to Rock Hill’s newest financial investment – Manchester Meadows. This is a brand new soccer complex, but it goes way beyond that. The area also includes two covered picnic pavilions, a large playground, a beautiful pond with fountain, walking trails and several bridges. It really is a great family area, and a nice addition to our town.
We packed a picnic lunch, which we enjoyed in the shade of the picnic pavilion beside the playground. Spencer wasn’t totally thrilled with the playground at first (he is getting a bit older, ya know?), but the rock wall drew him in (one of his favorite things). After that, he did play for a while and was quite entertained. After he “mastered” the rock wall, he had me time him so he could get better every trip to the top (and he did!).
The three of us took a walk down some of the trails while we were there to see what exactly this place had to offer. This is when we found the pond, another picnic pavilion and a beautiful heron. Spencer continued his competitiveness (as always) and Matt timed him on various runs to certain locations.
This is the main area of the playground. The "mulch" is actual rubber so it's neat, low maintenance and doesn't hurt if you fall on it. There was another play area for younger kids and benches for the parents to sit and watch (very thoughtful). Spencer's on the rock wall, far left.
Here is a close up of Spencer on the rock wall. He LOVES these things. This one was pretty small but it was good enough for the moment.
Here is Spencer coming down one of the many slides.
This is the beautiful heron that was hanging out at the pond.
1) In the South, it's a "pocketbook".
2) I have various sizes. I literally switch pocketbooks daily to match my outfit. I have tiny ones that I typically only use to go out to dinner or something at night. These carry the necessities which would be my ID, debit card, a little bit of cash, lip gloss, breath strips and cell phone.
My daily pocketbooks can range from medium to large. Today I'm only carrying a "medium" one so I don't have as much stuff as other days. Here we go.
- badge to get into Lowe's headquarters
- cell phone
- makeup compact
- lip gloss
- scrap of paper with some notes on it
- breath strips
- chap stick (burt's bees - the best!)
- small container with Aleve and Excedrin Migraine (my 2 miracle drugs)
- grocery list and coupons (I am stopping by the store on my way home)
- book list (was hoping to go by the library on my lunch hour but didn't have a chance)
Then I have a small zipper pouch thing that contains the following (when I carry more, I have a larger wallet. This pouch is more like my necessity wallet):
- $2 in cash (sad, huh?)
- Debit card and credit cards
- $25 gift card for home depot (don't tell Lowe's)
- driver's license
- punch card for LSS
- "coffee club" punch card for some local gas stations
- movie gallery card
- list of stuff to buy before our beach trip
When I carrying a larger bag I usually have a wallet with more junk in it that I don't need, various coupons (like Michael's, Linens N Things, etc), a pocket knife (everybody has a little redneck in them), more pens, my checkbook, etc.
Name - Holly
Nicknames – Boo, Thumper
Birthday – July 11
Birthplace – Shelby, NC
Eye Color - Blue
Hair Color - Blonde
Height – 5’2” (in the morning)
Righty or Lefty - Righty
Religion - Baptist
Sex - Female
LAYER TWO: In The Inside
Your heritage – Lithuanian, French Canadian, Irish & English (that’s all I know)
Who do you look like – A little bit like my dad, little bit like my mom; a lot like my sisters
Your weakness – temper and lack of patience
Your fears - being alone in life
Goal you'd like to achieve – find a way to make Scrapbooking into a full time career!
LAYER THREE: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
Your most over-used phrase on the internet – I’m not real big on “internet lingo” so probably just LOL.
Your thoughts first waking up – NO, not again!
Your best physical feature - ??? eyes, maybe???
Your bedtime - it varies, but usually around 10:00 and will watch TV or read until 11:00
Your most missed memory – Christmas parties that my parents threw when I was growing up
LAYER FOUR: Your pick
Pepsi or Coke - Coke, always!
Day or Night – Night (if it’s day, I’m probably at work)
Summer or Winter - Summer, without a doubt. I hate the cold.
Adidas or Nike – I don’t really care, but probably Nike
Chocolate or vanilla - Chocolate
Cappuccino or Coffee – Grande Café Mocha, skim milk, no whipped cream
LAYER FIVE: Do You?
Smoke - No, never have - not even once
Curse – Yes, though I try not to
Sing – Oh yeah!
Think you've been in love – Still am
Want to get married – No thanks, once is enough :-)
Believe in yourself – Yes, most of the time!
Motion sickness - Nope
Think you're attractive – Sometimes…depends on the day
Think you're a health freak – no way. Wish I was.
Get along with your parents – Yup, most of the time.
Like thunderstorms – Don’t really care
Play an instrument – Nope, wish I did though.
LAYER SIX: Have you ever
Gone to the mall – of course!
Eaten and entire box of Oreos – No, I’m not a fan.
Eaten sushi – Tried it once. Don’t like it.
Been on stage – Yes.
Gone skating – Yes – roller & ice.
Gone skinny dipping – No way.
Played a game that required removal of clothing – Yes, but not often. I’m the worst prude!
Been caught 'doing something' – could you be more specific?
Been called a tease – not to my face…
Gotten beat up – nope, thank goodness.
LAYER SIX: Getting Older
Number and names of children – 1 stepson, Spencer
How do you want to die – Peacefully in my sleep before I can no longer take care of myself
What do you want to be when you grow up – Who knows…
What country would you most like to visit – Tough one… Spain maybe???
Number of CDs that you own – a lot.
Number of piercing – none (not even my ears)
Number of tattoos - none
Number of times your name has appeared in the newspaper – several, not sure.
The song is Prince of Tides by Jimmy Buffett. This song reminds me of my dad for many, many reasons...
1) My dad has always loved Jimmy Buffett and passed that love on to me...not just of JB, but of music in general...but specifically raised me as a parakeet (Buffett's enduring title for children of parrotheads).
2) Prince of Tides is a novel by Pat Conroy, on which JB based his song. I got my love of reading from my father as well. He is also the one that introduced me to Pat Conroy and why I read this particular book. To this day, he and I still have similar tastes in books.
3) The song also has some narration in it. This is actually the part that MOST reminds me of my dad. The final line of the narration before the song begins... "He had returned to the sea, and his heart was a low country heart." I grew up in the low country of South Carolina and my dad still lives there. Though he was born a Yankee, he adapted to the low country life in a manner that would lead anyone to believe he was born with his toes in the salty Atlantic waters. He loves the water, and from him, I too learned to love the water, boats, and all things low country.
4) Last but not least...in an extension of his love for music, my father also taught me to love beach music (did I mention, you'd never know he was a yankee?). Ever since I was a young child, I have loved the sound of a song which brings about images of a shagging couple in my head - this is what lead me to take shag lessons as an adult. At the end of this song, Jimmy Buffett breaks off into the chorus of "Save the Last Dance for Me" and ends with "beach music, beach music, beach music, just plays on". (Just as a fun note...Pat Conroy's next book after The Prince of Tides, was entitled Beach Music).
I know it's common for one to "realize" a lot about their parents as they get older. But, as silly as it may seem, this song really has opened my eyes to just how much I learned, inherited, gathered from my father. Everytime I hear it, I think of him and realize another nuance of our relationship and treasure him, and the song, that much more.
This is a 2-page Christmas layout for my work album. I used the January 2007 Becky Higgins sketch. The layout ended up pretty simple, which is fine for my work album, but I will not be submitting this to CK.
Patterned Paper - Autumn Leaves (ivory); Sweetwater (green)
Vellum accent - Deja Views
Font - 2Peas Miss Happy
Burgundy ink pad - Rubber Stampede
Sunday night, we went to some friends' house for their annual 4th celebration. There were about 100 folks there! We had a great time eating and hanging out. The kids played with water and played sports. They live in the country and have a huge yard - perfect for this type of gathering.
After dark, the kids did sparklers and roman candles and we had a great fireworks show. Someone had a clever idea of bringing 3D glasses for everyone. I decided to get creative and took this photo of the fireworks through the glasses -- pretty cool, huh??? Doesn't Matt look just plain silly? Of course, we all did.
Most mornings when we have Spencer, Matt gets up with him while I sleep (spoiled, aren't I?). So, on Father's Day Spencer and I let Matt lay around and be lazy until it was time to go to his parents for lunch. Here is a snapshot of Spencer lying in bed with Matt as he reads the paper.
Later we had Matt do a scavenger hunt to find his gifts, which included a birdhouse, birdbath and a cup decorated by Spencer.
We had lunch at Matt's parents. Matt's dad's birthday always falls near or on Father's Day so we celebrate the two occasions together. Here is Matt and Spencer with Matt's parents.
The other book I had gotten from the library last week was one of Nicholas Sparks' more recent novels, True Believer. This was fantastic. I had read about 1/4 of the book and then had trouble sleeping one night. I ended up staying up until 3 a.m. finishing this book. The only thing that I didn't like about it was that it had to end (of course, I needed the sleep so it's a good thing it did).
Last night, Matt & I watched The Upside of Anger with Kevin Costner. It's not a movie that would go on my Top 10 list, but it was pretty funny (in a sick sort of way) and enjoyable. If you have a disfunctional family (don't we all in some fashion???), I'd recommend the viewing just to help you feel more normal.
My sister has two Boykin Spaniels (which also happen to be our state dog). One, Lilly, they've had for many years (1st photo with my nephew Bo...sorry, not a great photo). The other, Seppie, is new (2nd picture).
I've always been intimidated by the pictures because I had so many good ones. I didn't know how I was going to do just one layout with a few pictures. My sister recommended a mini album, and I finally got around to it.