Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Favorite Tools and What I'm Looking For...

Most of you know I love scrapbooking and other crafts. Right now, I'm more fascinated with the scrapbooking. Here are some of my faves:

I adore my Cricut and use it constantly for many things. I only have a couple of cartridges: Mickey and Friends, Mickey Font, George and Basic Shapes, Paper Dolls, and Sampler (a concoction of bits from a couple of cartridges). I am currently looking for: "Tags Bags Boxes & More" and "Zooballoo". Also... I am looking for Cricut Design Studio (computer program that allows you to do much more with your existing cartridges). If you have any information on these (excellent deals or sites), please let me know!

Also, I just recently started using the Coluzzle cutting system by ProvoCraft. This system allows you to do precise cuts each and every time. I know my Cricut cuts, but this other system allows me to center my photos and cut those, too! Yeah! I have the following templates: tags and bookplates; boxes; and small nested circles. These are great. I am looking for the following: any nested templates, puzzle templates, and a alphabet template with "straight" letters (no dots or bumpies!).

We love "Red Tape!" It is one of the greatest things imaginable. Oh... and Glue Dots! Gotta get my adhesives... Pop Dots are another wonderful three-dimensional adhesive that finds its way into my hands often.

I am awaiting my Cropper Hopper paper organizing system to come in the mail (eBay auction), so that my little problem of paper pulling goes away. This will probably become another favorite.

Karen got a Cropadile Big Bite... and it is awesome... so awesome, that... I want one, too! It can punch a hole through anything. I would love to make a CD album... So, those of you who are close by... save those destroyed CD's for me! I could recycle them and put them to excellent use!

Another thing that I am looking for (craft/scrap-wise) is anything Coca-Cola. I picked up some stickers at Michael's the other day (on clearance) for $1.29, but haven't been able to find any papers or other items. A nice die-cut would be cool. Or... a cool Coca-Cola paper or ribbon... I love Coca-Cola and just thought it would be excellent to do a page of ME! I never do myself, and thought it would be fun... Suggestions or comments? Help! is really what I'm after!

One other thing that I would totally love is a "Bind-It-All." These are kind of expensive (at least to me). But would be totally excellent in making my (our... sorry, Karen! - we share, ya know... lol!) own books, albums, chipboard and bigger things. It basically puts an almost spiral-type binding on things (punches the holes at least).

Today is the usual... laundry day. But, I have to do some writing and other things, and then we're scrapping this evening, as there is no swim practice (for either kid). Jolene (my sister) seems to be doing fairly well. Her swelling is going down... now if I could only get her to eat!

The insurance adjuster finally called yesterday. She said she would find out the information I had been calling everybody else for... they are paid to do it (lol!). It seems like it will still take a while. Bummer! I could really use a bigger car than Jolene's... An auto sales rep called today, stating that he could get us what we already had (or at least pretty close to it). The only thing is... if we were to get a new car, we are probably looking at (maybe) a Tahoe Hybrid. It could totally save on gas! You'll have to check it out (or wait for updates).

Anyway, gotta get going... Stacy has an ortho appointment, and I have to finish laundry and start dinner, too. Have a beautiful day... we are! - Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's a Great Week... so far...

Although the ending of my week wasn't so good last week, this week is much better. Gone are the stressful days of running around, getting kids to two different schools, picking them up at two different times, taking them to two different practices. School is out! We have just been sitting and "gel-ing." Yes, we are getting some stuff done, but it is much more casual, and I am lovin' it!

Easter was also a great thing. With the "issue" from last week, I was driven by Juan to my mom's. My sister was there with her fiance, and my brother with his family. We didn't have the Easter Bunny... but we sure had a chipmunk (my sister!). She is recuperating from a jaw surgery (Friday also) and was a tad swollen. Yikes! We had a great time with the kids hunting for eggs (which contained $$$). Then we did dinner, talked a lot, and went home (I drove my sister's car, so I had transportation... Juan went to work from my mom's house).

Monday was different but easy. I slept in! Yeah! And it felt really good.

I'm still a little stressed from calling my insurance, the police, the "other" insurance, etc. and not getting a response back, but without running everyone around, it was much less stress on me, and I worked through it. (I made the same calls today without a response, too!) I'm still a little sore (stress and tension does that to a body), but overall, I'll survive and be okay.

We went to practice (the high-schoolers are swimming with the club swim team during spring break), and Stacy swam (Rey was at my mom's, taking care of my sister). I had deck duty and watched Marissa at the same time... boy was that a challenge! We were done fairly early and went home. No pressure, no going to bed at a certain time, no homework worries... it is GREAT!

Today was more of the same, (especially the "sleeping in" part!) except Rey and my sister came home. Jolene (my sis) is going to stay for awhile until she is okay on her own. The swelling has gone down a lot and she is able to eat "solids" through a syringe (YUCK!). But... swim practice was cancelled unexpectedly due to maintenance failing to unlock the pool gate. Hey! That bites!

Dinner tonight was super easy. Egg salad! Yum! Gotta love that egg salad on whole wheat with lettuce... Easy and not wasteful, and the best way to use up those Easter eggs.

Oh yeah... and I forgot. One of the must-have features I've decided I absolutely need for any vehicle (should we seriously have to get a new one) is automatic headlights! I was driving my sister's car and couldn't figure out why it was so dark! Whoops! I guess that's a little something I got way too used to! Just one of my random thoughts besides... gotta get scrappin'! Toodles for now! - lisa

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HAPPY EASTER... and other things!

Here, in Southern California, it is a beautiful spring morning... it has the potential to be another scorcher. Yesterday was 91 degrees and was supposed to be no more than 79! (The weather cannot make up it's mind!) Who knows what today will bring... but it did bring the Easter Bunny!

I'm in the middle of a couple of articles and was just taking a break. I thought I'd send you some Easter greetings and hope everyone is well. Here are some cards I made... just for Easter, and I'm sharing them with you! Most of it is done with my little Cricut (which I absolutely LOVE). On the insides: one says, "Hoppy Easter!"; another - "Hoppin' your way to wish you a wonderful EASTER Day!"; and the last - "Happy Easter... from sumbunny who love you!" They were all done with stamps, my writing and embossing. Enjoy...Please comment. Your greetings can be shared with everyone.

And for all of those wondering how I am (after the accident), I'm a little stiff and sore (tension and nerves) and currently still without a vehicle. The police have not returned my calls, and neither has the insurance agent of the "other" party. But... I know I have been lied to (by the actual insurance company of the "other" party), because the paperwork I saw was issued after the supposed cancellation date of the policy. Go figure. Do you think anyone wants to pay up? How long is this going to take? All I know... guess who they are dealing with. I am extremely persistent, and this is no joke. I will "bomb" them with phone calls!!! This needs to be pushed through. There is no reason why I should have to pay when it wasn't my fault. Then again... what exactly is "no-fault" insurance? LOL! It is a joke!

On the other side... It is a beautiful day. Enjoy it... and have a HAPPY EASTER!!! Toodles for now! lisa

Friday, March 21, 2008

Through No Fault of My Own! - RAM!!!

I'm a little perturbed right now. I have no vehicle... I was in a car accident on the way home from dropping the girls off... was hit in the intersection by someone not braking enough for a red light. My car is thrashed at the passenger rear (so is the tire - totally shredded). I was pushed into the lady next to me (her car is pretty ok). The driver (who hit me)'s insurance policy expired 2 days ago... uh... It turns out, we DON't have uninsured motorists "protection" and don't have rental coverage! YikeS!!!!! Can I cry now? and even more... Juan wants me to stay calm and act ok, to not scare the baby... but.. The cop gave the guy (other driver) 3 hours to get a new insurance paper (the dude says the insurance is covered, he just didn't have the current paper... I sure hope so!). And my insurance says my best bet is to start with his insurance, so it is handled quicker. (Sigh....) I really want to cry now. My eyes are watering. I'm having a very bad day.

To top it off... it was a Dodge Ram 2500 4-wheel drive! Well, they live up to their names! I waited at a red light, while a crossing guard guided a runner. The light turned green... I waited about 2 seconds, saw no approaching vehicles, was almost across... and WHAM! The Ram rammed into me! Beautiful truck with minute damage... only the front bumper. It doesn't exactly look cool with white paint (mine) on it.

But going back to the perturbed thing... the insurance is really putting it to me. First they tell me that we have to shell out $165 to the tow truck ourselves, then they tell me the "other" driver's insurance company will reimburse us for it. Uh... isn't the insurance supposed to handle all of that? I would hope so. Then... to make matters even worse, they told me that an adjuster probably won't even be able to check it out until next week, and that I might want to get ahold of the "other" driver's insurance and get things speeded up from that end. Hello! What are they going to do about it? Apparently nothing.
A rental vehicle of the same size (we really need a mini-van size) is $499 a week. Wow! Thank goodness my kids aren't going to school for the next two weeks. We can get by... just won't be doing much. I guess I can reacquaint ourselves with the public transportation system. We can do the movies (next to the mall is cheap - $2 for matinee/$3 for evening); we can do the mall; we can do many other things, just as long as we are open-minded.
Maybe this is for the best. No one was hurt. Marissa wasn't with me, and the car, although very damaged, can hopefully be fixed. I wasn't in my pj's... We may have to pay a deductible... we'll find out later. But in the end, we'll all be ok.

Just remember, life happens. It happens quickly. So... make the most of it and make sure to brush your teeth and your hair before you go out! And remember also how beautiful each day is (look at that blue sky in the truck's photo!). Toodles for now! lisa (who is now much calmer...)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lots to do...

There seems to be so much to do and so little time... what a cliche! But unfortunately, it is way too true. And so, we'll do a little re-cap...

Saturday (day) was spent at a swim meet. Rey took off time in almost every event she entered - Yeah, Rey! You go! Marissa and Jake (my nephew) had lots of fun playing around. There was lots of grass, but once again (listen up, TCC), no trash cans. So we had to find them all up by the pool deck. Someone passed out, the emergency (ambulance) came to help out and slightly delayed the meet. All in all it was ok... until it started to rain. Thankfully, it was towards the end of our kids swimming, and we didn't have to endure much...

Back to Mo Val... the sun was shining brightly! It was like two totally different worlds. The wind was rough, though. And we ended the day at the circus. Literally! Juan, Marissa and I went to Circus Vargas and had a blast. The trapeze artists flew over the tops of our heads... I never knew they came that close to the net in flight! Marissa loved it, but at the end asked, "Where are the elephants and lions?" Too true, this circus did not have them. There were a couple of dogs (one was outfitted like a lion) and a very large horse. By the time we got out, it had rained (you could see droplets coming through the tent pole holes during the show) and it was SUPER chilly!

Then it hailed! Hail the wonderfully white and hard stuff. I had to run out into my back yard and grab my "indoor" plants, so that they didn't freeze. I know... many of you live in cold snowy areas, but this is extremely unusual for here, so I took pictures! Yeah! The pics are from the morning when everything was beginning to melt, as it was too dark and too cold when it was actually hailing (plus... it's a little dangerous!). It looks almost like snow!

Sunday was dying Easter eggs (I know... it was a little early, but we had our reasons...). I got some really great photos. It's too bad my stepkids missed out. Then we had tacos! Yumo!

Monday... the car dealership was a blast, but my great friend, Karen, picked me up half-way through the wait and we went SHOPPING! Let me tell you... Target is clearancing out a lot of their "creative" stock, such as scrapbooking and cardmaking items. We got some really great deals there. Just watch out and price check a lot of it. Even if the item is very similar, it could be a more expensive price. Rey was sick on that day and stayed home from school, so I didn't take her with me, and she stayed home from swimming, as well. I had made Irish Beef Stew and biscuits for dinner, just to add in the St. Patty's Day flare. In the late afternoon, Karen returned to my house with bag in tow, and we got creative.
I mainly cut out stuff on my Cricut for cards (birthdays and Easter coming up), and did enough to get my move on. But, I also played a little with my new cartridge - Paper Dolls. I cut out all of the items for both of our smaller girls to do leprechauns with... Here's a pic of one of those. And I made some smaller cards from my "Sampler" cartridge. Now I think I really need the cartridge called "Zooballoo." It's got some really great bonus things in it... it makes cards and envelopes! Yeah!

Tuesday... Enchanted came out on DVD. This wonderful Disney movie is only $14.97 at Walmart ($13.99 if you get lucky!) I think we've watched it at least 10 times now. It really is a great movie!

Also, just a little FYI... Kohl's has the Dr. Seuss characters from many of the books in a medium size for $5. That is not even a sale price. Juan picked them up (including Horton from Horton Hears a Who) for Easter. Good prices, nice and soft, excellent quality!

It's time to start my day... I should've done that already, but I'm nursing the never-ending headache... ugh! Toodles for now! lisa

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shot Nerves!

If you've ever been to an auction... I'm sure you are quite aware of the rush of adrenaline that pumps through your blood. When I first arrived on eBay... I thought this rush would be non-existent. Boy! Was I wrong!!!

I have been bidding on a couple of Cricut Cartridges (I'm looking at Tags, Bags, Boxes & More mostly) and a heating (embossing) gun. Yikes! When I get outbid, it rakes my nerves, and I feel that pulsing coming and staying. It just takes the !*@ out of me! I feel like SuperB***h on wheels, especially when the bid changes at the last minute. (Sigh!) It's tough. I know I don't "need" them. I know I can spend the money elsewhere (where it is needed). But... I feel like I need them. The juice just keeps flowing, and I can't stop! I'm an AUCTION ADDICT!!!! I'm also a cricutaddict! I just keep wanting to do more and more and more... It is never-ending!

So, right this minute... I have an eBay stalker. He or she keeps upping my bid, and of course... I keep changing my max. This is not smart. I have to stop. But... how? I'm totally frayed, and almost feel like it's a personal thing, although I really know it isn't... lol! How silly am I? When someone beats me at a bid... it's almost like they are telling me "Na, na, na, na, na... you ca-an't have it..." in a sing-song voice. Oh, how I hate that voice! But one more time... it's not personal... lol!

So, I'll go back to my normal Thursday things... laundry... and kind of try to stay off the computer... until I can't stay away any longer. Maybe my stalker will take a break! Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gotta Get With It!

Ok, and so I've done so much more doing things than writing... this includes buying things (which means searching the web...), reading blogs, reading e-mails, reading lots of other things, swim team stuff (go MVAQ!!!) - which, by the way... is LOTS of drama!, writing for other things, shopping, Marissa's stuff, going here, going there, etc...

And this is going to be my "first" post for March! Yeah! But I finally realized that I have been neglecting this, even though for some reason... I couldn't get on. Ok, I'd get on, but my blogspot would "freeze" when I tried to "add" a new post. Guess what! Just right now... it finally let me on!

Oh yeah... and I've made sure I don't keep my hard drive full. I guess that was the cause for problems a while ago.

I'm not really sure where to start. Should I go from here, or should I play catch up? I have some excellent pictures from my adventures from the past couple of weeks... I did go watch the L.A. Marathon... and we did some other stuff, too. Pictures are always great and always fun for me. I guess tomorrow I will try to put together some Smilebox(es) for you (and me!) and see where to go from there.

Anyway, I had tried to go to sleep, as I was VERY tired. (This time change thingy is kickin' my butt!) Now my eyes are burning... maybe I will actually be able to sleep. Toodles for now! lisa