Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thinking about Next Christmas Already?

I am. I already began my Christmas shopping for next year yesterday. I braved the crowds of after-Christmas shoppers at Walmart. Yeah, me! I got a huge amount of stuff (at least I thought so...) for next Christmas, including stocking stuffers, which are always quick to get expensive.

But... for those of you who are always being asked what you want for Christmas... I found this handy little universal button from Amazon! supplied by a wonderful person on FrugalScrappersYahoo Group. You add this button to your browser tool bar and everytime you are on a site that has an item you want... you click "Add to My Wish List" and it stores the site to your Amazon wish list with the item! Loved ones can get your wish list and find the things you've been wishing for. What a great little tool! Now I only wish... that each person I gift to would get one of these handy little buttons!

To get yours... simply click on the link and move the little button to your toolbar! It's that simple. Here ya go! Click on Link

Friday, December 25, 2009

Been a While, but HEY! Merry Christmas!!!

Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Stacking Penguins
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


On the 4th, we tried to take Marissa to a small circus - the 5pm show. They informed us there wouldn't be a show due to lack of patrons. I wanted to inform them they wouldn't have an 8pm one either, as everyone would be wanting to see the fireworks. We watched as they turned away 4 more cars. They had said they needed at least 50. While we were watching, there went at least 20... who knows how many more they turned away. We got the impression they just didn't want to work...

So, here's a camel that wanted to say, "HI!" to me...
So we ended up going to see Ice Age 3D: The Dawn of the Dinosaurs. It really was pretty good with lots of humor in it. I recommend it!

Yesterday, the girls (the older ones) got their belly buttons pierced. We had a deal. Clean room for a month, age 15 or more... belly buttons pierced. Here's their piercing many. I'd show you shots, but it didn't even hurt them, so... no dramatic photos. Bummer. Not even for their scrapbooks.

I picked this from my garden this morning. Do you know what it is?It is a Boston Pickling Cucumber. Looked funny... tasted great. Too bad there aren't any more right now. We split it between the three of us. Yum-O!

Oh! Stacy's visit on Sunday went great. We hope she stays in touch now and that we see her much more often. It was just like old times... You'd think time never left us.

That's all I got for now... Toodles for now! lisa

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!!

I'm sure lots of you have plans for today, whether it's hanging out with your friends, bbq-ing, watching the fireworks, whatever... Some of you have to work, and some of you are not doing anything... No matter. No matter what, I want you to all to have a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy WHATEVER you may be doing!!! Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Found a Long Lost Friend Last Night

Yep... after spending a lot of money on people search engines over the years and finding nothing current, I found my friend for free on Facebook.

What a hoot. I have been wondering about her for 15 years. Even my daughter (age 16) is named after her. She was the best friend I ever had in the whole wide world. We plan to meet on Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Rey won't be able to meet her, though, unless we go to the pool. Hmm... maybe...

Don't know what we are gonna do for dinner, either. I'll think about it. But I'm just so glad to find her. We have so much to talk about and catch up on. When I talked to her last night, it was like we had never been apart (the friendship I mean). That's a good thing. Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, June 29, 2009


If you haven't discovered this wonderful little video store within your local grocery store or other market, you should check it out. Rentals are $1 per day plus tax, and not due back until 9pm the following day. They even have top NEW titles!!! Woohoo! The girls and I have seen a multitude of movies thanks to this great box.

Oh! and another thing. You can rent from any Redbox and return it to ANY redbox. So... if you've rented from your town, and go to visit someone, you can return the dvd to a redbox in the other town, or along the way. What a cool thing.

Also, if you want to keep the movie for another day or two, you can! It is only another $1 plus tax per day. NOT those horrible late charges.

If I sound like a commercial, please know that I am getting nothing for this. I am only sharing this with you as a great deal. I am so impressed with this little "redbox."

To find a Redbox near you... go to and put in your zip code. You can also register for their e-mails and to reserve a movie or find a movie at a redbox near you.

Happy movie watching. Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's Plans and Yesterday's News (more!)

Whelp... I had to purchase a ticket online to ensure Stacy would be able to go to the new Transformers movie. It sold out fairly quickly. Rey, Marissa & I will finally be going to see Monsters vs. Aliens. We've been waiting a long time to see it, and it's about time, as it's at the $2 theater by us.

The other day, we went and saw Hannah Montana: The Movie. It was actually pretty good. It sure wasn't a movie I wanted to see. I'm glad I saw it, though. The movie takes her back to her roots and away from the glam of Hollywood to see what a brat she's been.

Other news... I forgot to tell ya'll! Rey got her first job. (Stacy doesn't want to work yet, though.) She is a Lifeguard for the City's Parks and Recreation/School District Summer Swim. Yippee. So, she will be helping do a major contribution to her Educational European Tour next summer. Here's her first-day-of-work pic...

She wouldn't let me: a) take a pic at the pool (too embarassing!) and b) wouldn't let me take a pic in her bathing suit (another embarassment). Bummer. The fishtank and tank top were as close to water and a lifeguard suit as I was gonna get. Oh well.

That's all for now... Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Gloom...

is not upon us! Yippee! It's beautiful here with a slight breeze.

News? There's good news... Stacy finally got a 2.0 (barely) and Rey got a 3.o. Both girls lettered in swimming (Varsity) and made it to League Finals. And get this one... their room is REALLY clean. It's been clean for 3 weeks now.

Marissa is finally in panties (she's been potty-trained for a while and just refused to wear them). She also will finally go in a pool and paddles around with her life vest on. (I'm working on getting her in a class, just have to come up with the cash first.)

I've been working some weekends officialing for swimming (one weekend a month), which helps put food on the table.

Juan is stressed, as with most union workers, contract negotiation time is stressful... and it's coming up soon (October, to be exact). He did a wonderful job designing a new grill for my bbq, made out of cast iron and said to last forever...

So much has happened. Mother's day forgot me. Oh well. I did get a card from my nephews (Jake and Max).

Father's Day has passed... I hope my dad had a happy one... I mailed a card. Juan got a nice dinner the night before.

Bad news? Sad news... my uncle passed a couple of weeks ago. I remember him from when I was little. It's sad how it happened. A total accident, but it happened.

Also, my mom's hubby's sister... her suffering should be over. So sad.

I sure hope things don't come in 3's. For real. This is enough.

I learned a new technique for crafting, so you'll have to check that blog in a couple of hours... or tomorrow.

The weight loss is at a standstill. I just don't have the drive, and it's downright depressing. I'm sure most of you can relate.

So let's get back to the good news... my brother and his wife have the cutest baby... my friend had one, too. And everyone I know (at least 5 other people) are preggers again. I won't be drinking their water if I go to visit.

I'm trying to get Marissa into preshcool for the fall. Wish me luck! Maybe will be co-oping it, but hey... a little better than just at home.

That's all I can think of for now... Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, May 11, 2009

Did Ya Miss The Grueling Tales?

I have just been staying away from being on the computer so much. But I will post again at least twice a week.

Life has been busy. Between the girls swimming (yes... Stacy finally made grades), Marissa still wearing diapers (potty-trained but still wanting to wear them - pick your battles...), Juan and everything else, time is precious.

We've gone camping two times since the last post. Unfortunately I like to write in private, and others get up just as early as me on these trips. Bummer. But... on a good note, at least we found a nice place in San Diego to camp. Beautiful and like a mini resort. Not too far from the beach either.

My brother and his wife finally welcomed a new son to the fold. I had my other nephew (almost 3 years old) while the labor session was going. It was a good time for us to bond. After a restless night and not much sleep (mostly crying and dirty looks - it was rather funny), and clinging to me, he woke up with a smile and said, "Good morning, Auntie!" Definitely not expected, but it was nice.

Mother's Day weekend I was officiating, so I was on my feet and in the sun for two days. Hopefully, I lost a couple pounds or inches... whichever. How was yours? Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, April 6, 2009

Agua Caliente - Day Four

Friday, March 27, 2009
Yesterday was a doozy.
Normal day... pool (I didn't go in - a little too sunburned), catch, lunch, breakfast (not necessarily in that order). Breakfast was my specialty (chorizo and eggs). Lunch was another... carne asada quesadillas. Yum!
The baby did better walking and playing... Thank goodness! She was all over the place - movies, blowing bubbles, catching bugs. She loves the bug catchers with the magnifying glass in it. We caught lots of moths last night.
Mom and the girls went to a more receptive for cell phones to get ahold of my sister - to see if she was coming or not, plus talk to Jr and hear his status and get the details. He was supposed to leave my sister directions... by my mom left voicemail directions, as she couldn't get ahold of her whywho. And Jr says he left/gave them to her (can't tell which it is!).
OK... so time passes. I realize NONE of the texts the girls sent to my sister went through. The phone was in "off." So more time goes... my mom and I finally go to call/text her and see where she is.
You don't wanna know! She was about 2 hrs off! She had just left at 7:37. She was supposed to leave around 2pm. Didn't happen. Go figure. So we figured her for around 7:30'ish. And I got all of the texts to go through.
More time... 7:30'ish... I go alone to see how she's progressing. I should've known. She is infamous for getting lost. She definitely does not have a GPS system built in (or purchased!).
She was another 2 hrs off! She had turned the wrong way at Julian! Between calls, I was looking at maps and trying to figure out just where the heck she was, when she called me again and said they were going home. They were at the entrance to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Way out of the way. Yikes! So, I went back to deliver my news.
My mom disagrees and said she gave the right information/directions, regardless of what my sister said. But from what my sister tells me, it sounds like what they thought/said. It really is a semi-confusing deal, if you don't know and if you don't have a map.
Anyway, we ate dinner. I went to bed... and I heard a car pull up. They had gotten almost all the way home when she decide to come back the way I'd told her and bring my mom's cake for her birthday. How sweet. Literally, she made a full circle. That was one long round trip.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Agua Caliente - Day Three

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yesterday was fun! We had Jr & Renee follow us out (so they wouldn't get lost) to Julian, where we were going to visit.

Jr had to take down one tent and air mattress though, 'cause we made him. He ended up taking down one of the girls' tents, because they were moving into the larger tent, which he was using.

We were on a slant, so our pancakes were on a slant, too. They were slightly burnt, but good. Then we were on our way...

Julian is a quaint town of a whole 427 people. It is beautiful and the daffodils grow wild. According to the locals, the town is known for its lilacs and the branches are beginning to boo,, but we didn't see them...

Julian is also known for apples, and no one, but the Witch Creek Winery, from around there makes hard cider. Yep. I went to a wine tasting and west through robust tart to sweet. Yummy. I bought a bottle of the hard cider. And we bought a pie.

Lots of the shops have cute country stuff, including Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and anecdotes. Most also have Coca-Cola stuff, so they got me! My mom bought me a diner-style salt and pepper shaker set. I purchased myself a perpetual calendar that I'd never seen. Needless to say... I could've easily spent another couple hundred in there. The girls weren't into much except candy, so I didn't get them anything. My mom bought them the candy.

The markets didn't have much, so we got what we could on our lists. Luckily, Juan had found my bandaid stash in a diaper bag, so those weren't needed.

The museums were closed,l and we didn't venture out of town to the caves or the haunted stage. Maybe Friday on our way out of town we'll hit them.

It got kind of windy once we got back. Dinner was my simple meatball grill packets (meatballs, onions, corn-on-the-cob, and potatoes topped with honey & bbq sauce). Everyone loved them. So dishes were almost nothing.

We had pie and a bottle of hard cider (my Strawberry Arbor Mist died while we were gone...)... and sat by the fire for a bit. I went to bed early and took a pill.

The other day... when we were "poolin'", I had gotten a little burnt. I was starting to feel it when I turned in.

Thank goodness everything was either tied down or staked down when I went to bed. Even thought I'd taken a pill, the wind howled and blew the tent walls in and out. It whistled and gusted throughout the night, making it hard to get a good night's rest. The tent walls shuddered and blew up like a child filling its cheeks with air then blowing out, the cheeks going in.

Maybe today the girls will fly kites.

The baby kept scooting over, nearly pushing me off the ed. It's hard to sleep with a toddler, but I knew that anyway from home. By the time I got up, I was on the edge of my side, a familiar place for me, and about to go over. So I have up and got up.

Today, though, I'd like to try some trails. Wish me luck!

If i forgot to mention it, the baby complained all day about her "hurting feet." She claimed her feet still hurt and wanted to be carried around. They are scraped pretty well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Agua Caliente Trip - Day Two

And here is a continuation of our trip. If it bores you... move on... lol!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
And yes, I forgot to bring some things (don't we all!)... the baby's bathing suit was a big one (Don't worry. I told her that babies have to wear "shorts" bathing suits; it's one of the "rules."), a corkscrew (had to bring my wine - Thank God one of them was a screw top!), a can opener (so we didn't have baked beans or tomato sauce - for the rice, etc.) Oh well... can't remember everything.
Tuesday wasn't bad at all, if you don't need a cell phone, texting, a computer and your friends... I don't! A few days away is a great thing. But there are those that just constantly complain. Juan's kids (Jr & Renee) did just that.
As a matter of fact, they are cutting the trip short and leaving today for those very reasons. Poor Juan... Jr also forgot his deodorant, toothbrush and "flavor" (tobacco) for his Hooka (He insists this is not smoking!). Great...
Renee just super misses texting.
My cell phone just sits in my car... no worries, no pain, no wistfulness of days gone by or phone calls not received or made...
Back to yesterday...
I got the baby to go into the wading pool. Turns out - she didn't want to go Monday because she saw this "lady making kids count" and she didn't want to have to count. She loved it. I can't get her into a pool at home, but this is a wading pool, and she can touch the bottom and have a lot hang out, still. Yippee!
The kids came from the big pool, saying it was way too cold. That's what all the other campers say, too. The wading pool is about 90. They are both supposed to be 90.
I went to the "therapy" pool (jacuzzi to me) for a little bit... NICE...
Ugh. You'd think I could get my own coffee right... too much sugar! (Drinking coffee right now...)
By the time I got back to the wading pool, the baby's toes were scraped on the bottom (the pool is very roughly finished). So she complained all day. Oh! And I forgot more - bandaids and Tylenol.
Everyone but Jr had a good time in the pools. Jr didn't go in at all.
We played games (Bullshit, Solitaire, Yatzee). We played frisbee. The girls caught softballs.
Rey fell from the hammock that Juan had bought... the manufactured knots came out. It was hilarious! Thump! Right on her back. No, she wasn't hurt and didn't play it up either.
Then the hammock got fixed. We found a place the baby could fall asleep in! Yeah!
We rode bikes around the campground (the hills are tiring... I'm SO out of shape...).
Burgers were for dinner. Since Mom forgot the potato salad and salsa, we just had chips with it.
The baby was watching movies in the car. The battery went dead. That's ok. We used Jr's car to charge it up... So the baby watched movies in the tent. Until bedtime. (She didn't want to walk with her toes like that.) After the fire and s'mores, she went right to sleep with me.
The hammock was a big attraction for all the kids and Juan. I'll pass, but it was nice watching each of them in it. They'd swing, kick back, sleep and, overall, have a good time.
Jr was originally supposed to leave Thursday and Renee stay, but they've been sort of (very much) complaining a lot. Of course it irks me. Juan bought extra stuff just for them when they said they were coming. The complaining also get to me, but of course, they've made excuses as to why they have to leave.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Trip to Agua Caliente - Day One

So I haven't written in a while, but if you would like to follow my vacation that we took last week (we went camping at Agua Caliente), then please read. I will try to post a different day, in sequence, throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So the first day was...

not so bad, but very shocking for all of us. Maybe the name was an omen - "Agua Caliente", meaning hot water in Spanish. And as we came, I felt like we were getting in hotter water than I had ever imagined. Let's just go back to "it wasn't what we expected..."

First of all, we had originally expected 80 degree weather, but the everchanging forecast told us 60 degree weather with nights of 39. (Yuck!)

We set off anyway... Jr & Renee came, too... much to all of our surprise. They don't usually do much with us (although they are part of the family - my stepkids), let alone going away for a week.

The way was an hour more than I had thought, and much more south-east, too. This was definitely not Palm Springs, nor the surrounding area.

So we drove and drove, down past Fallbrook. Oops! We missed our exit. My fault... I was getting the baby (4 years old) another movie in the dvd player (aren't we spoiled?!?) and taking her toys, like she asked. So we drove to the next exit, got off and drove and drove... until my husband, Juan, found a decent spot to pull over. (We had a trailer and two more car loads were with us - following, of course.)

We discussed our new mapping and followed my mom - I asked not to be the lead anymore. And so we drove back, got our exit, and followed a gorgeous country road (thank God it was paved!!!) through a myriad of curves, winds, and various Indian reservations, all the while surrounded by lush oak trees, California poppies in full bloom, and daffodils growing wild (those lucky ducks! I have to plant my own bulbs...).

The baby had to go "potty." So as soon as we could, which wasn't that soon, we found a restroom,after pulling over another time to "discuss" (me thinks everyone keeps forgetting we have a trailer!). We found that open restroom next to a Sheriff's station. This was attached to Poncho Villa's Tacos (and Pizza & Lasagna), so we decided to grab lunch there. The food was wonderful! I don't think I thought it was going to be that good! Not one person was disappointed.

My machaca burrito was messy, dripping, and oozing with flavor, just the way it should be. The beef was tender and shredded to perfection. The blend of vegetables (corn, potatoes, onion, and yellow bell peppers) was spread throughout and carmelized to a sweet goodness. And the egg! Not too much and not too little... just enough to bind it all together.

Well... we left and headed more east, more south, through more winding, winding roads, around a mountain (elevations over 3000 ft)... that lead us to a desert.

I sure hoped this was going to be an oasis (a "haven in the desert" as the description called it...), but it was beginning to seriously look doubtful...

The first market we stopped at was closed, although it stated, "OPEN", on the sign. It had wonderful antique fire trucks (real ones!). I counted seven in all, ranging through the times. There were also horse-drawn carriages with statued horses (fake!) of times gone by. Everything was glorious and stating "DO NOT TOUCH." The baby still thought they were real, although they were crumbling. She was afraid they would bite her, so she didn't get too close for a quick pic. Picture taken... moving on...

So we left there and drove further... to the market just outside of our destination. It was small, but expected. It was a little after 3pm (on Monday) and they said they'd be closing "real soon." They also informed us (when we asked what time they opened tomorrow...) that they were closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays (GREAT!).

Then we got here... not what we expected. No lushness, small sites (camping spaces), LOTS of rocks (all large gravel in one site), prickly brush... but... we changed to one other spot and made it all work. We were determined to make the best of it. Only Jr & Renee wanted to stay in the car.

The pool closed at 5pm... the were all disappointed. Oh well...

My portion of dinner (rice, beans, and tortillas) was done promptly at 7pm. Juan wasn't done with his until 7:30, so mine was part cold, part lukewarm. (You try keeping it hot in the gusty winds and chilling evening!)

It was pretty warm when we got here (warmer than expected). But the night was COLD! I was so tired, but sleep was not my friend. The baby wanted to play, don't know until what time, and I was too cold. Eventually, I finally crashed, but woke to the pitch blackness, because I had to "GO"!

I waited it out as long as I could, then gave up and braved the cold and the dark. (The baby had been playing with the flashlight, so I didn't know where it was...) I felt the pavement and let that take me to where I needed to be. Small noises spooked me, a howling here (there were coyotes around), a "caw" there... but I made it! I stayed in the warm room (attached to the hot springs' jacuzzi [therapeutic pool] room) as long as I dared, then trudged back.

Had it not been so cold, I would've stayed out longer to star gaze, but I'm a wuss. Save that for another day/night. I got back into my warm cocoon and again (eventually) fell asleep. Waking up throughout the night, I finally got through to the morning... maybe tomorrow night I'll take a pill!

Monday, March 16, 2009

BTW - the widget you see in the upper right hand corner is for my daughter. She is in Honors English, and they are planning an educational tour to Europe next June (2010). It pains me to see her go this far away from me, yet I know it will give her a better global understanding of the world today and the variety of cultures. I want my child to be aware and am allowing her to go. However, we need your support. You can donate money to the fund or send in your donations. Just click "CHIP IN" and it will send you to a site where you can pay via PayPal. PayPal will not charge you. But... it does charge us a small amount. We have a little over $4000 to earn by May 2010. Please help us help Renee to reach this goal. Thanks ahead of time! lisa

Saturday, March 14, 2009

CA - Rumors of "I OWE YOU" Are Not True - FOLLOW-UP!

Just a little fyi... for those of you who commented that I should read the "fine print..." I did. Like I stated, there was a 30 day delay. We sent ours in January 28... and got it March 10. Not too bad for "I OWE YOU", huh? Whatever people...

Just goes to show not to read between the lines or over analyze anything. Just read the print. It is there. And I still have faith in what is told to us within that print, especially now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Whole New World!

Doesn't that bring to mind Disney's Aladdin? It does to me.

But seriously, that is what I have today. About a month ago, we got a new monitor. No big, widescreen (that seems to be all they sell anymore), 19" inches (or is it 20"?). Everything was blurry, but only slightly. Uh... I didn't know I had to reset the resolution. Brain fart! So, now not only do I see things SUPER clearly (I can see clearly now, the rain is gone... [know that song? we're OLD!]). WOW!

Also, on top of everything, I can actually see my whole blog setup. I used to only be able to see to the edge of the ribbons... I like it! Toodles for now! - lisa

Monday, March 2, 2009

Still Makin' that Noise...

But apparently, from the dealer, it isn't "a safety factor." So I have to live on with it. Guess who's getting a letter...

And speaking of cars... I thought you might get a kick out of this (I did!). From

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

STILL Not Done...

With my car. SO... starting Friday, I will be hounding the brake shop and the dealership. They won't know I'm coming... watch out boys!

The kids are doing great. Water Polo is over and swim season has started; it's only practices, now. Stacy's grades have gone up (YAY!) and hopefully, she'll actually be able to participate in a sport this school year. Rey is definitely a teenager... really going full boat with the attitude, following in her sister's footsteps (I hope not). Marissa is following, too. lol! She is a card and comes up with the biggest words and even uses them correctly. I am always amazed, as are the other two, when she talks. I love them all.

It's hard to say about Juan's kids, as we rarely hear from them. Usually only when... okay I won't go there.

Juan is alright, too. He's a little po'ed about the car, as am I. We are so tired of it. But on another topic, he actually kept everything I made him for Valentine's Day. He loved the "I LOVE YOU" card and the peanut jar I made him. He thought I bought the covered jar from someone else who had made it.

The girls' shirt turned out really cute for Valentine's Day. I'll have to post pictures of all the girls in them, so you can see the shirts and see how they are growing, as well.

I am doing okay, tired a lot, but still okay. With so much to do... I don't know how these super moms do it without being tired.

If you are visiting here, looking for crafty stuff, you need to know I have moved that blog to i Created It!. I know you don't want to read about my personal life and such, but this blog has now been adapted for catching up with family, friends, and a couple of other helpful hints and rants. Just about everything. I will occasionally post things of a crafty nature, just not totally scrappy. Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you on my other blog.

Anywho... that's all I got for now. I'll post pictures by the end of the week. Today is Ash Wednesday, so I still gotta figure out what's for dinner! Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And I thought I was done...

with my car being fixed, that is. When I first got the car back on Monday, things were great.

Yesterday, the rubbing noise started and my keys didn't work. Guess what? They had to re-program them both this morning. The rubbing noise will be taken care of later, as I kinda need my car. Using Juan's car (Chevy's HHR) gave me claustrophobia, and I don't want to go there again. I also don't want another rental, which they won't pay for anyway.

The kids are all getting over colds, so hopefully... we can go see my friend's new baby! (Congrats, Karen, Chris & Addy!!!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No More Scrappy Things Here...

LOL! For those of you who have endured my creative messes, and are only coming for updates to our/my family, fear no more. I have created another blog just for that purpose!

However, if you would like to go check it and my creative items out, please feel free to visit i Created It! Have a wonderful day!

This is also a plus for those who want to see anything scrappy/crafty... you will no longer have to weed through the crud... lol! Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Rant!

So... I had the rental, right? I needed to go to a water polo game in Riverside. No worries. I picked up my daughter at school and had to check in at the security station (you can't "just" take kids from a school). I rolled down the window... and it only rolled back up 1/2 of the way. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, however, it is rainy weather here.

So... I grabbed a piece of plastic to put on the window once I got it parked and FROZE the whole way there (1/2 hour). My kids were okay, as I put the heat on SUPER high. But... then I got caught in a hail storm, and it was bouncing into the car. I even got pics of the hail inside the van, on my window! Sucks the big one! Anyway, the plastic worked while the car was parked, and I slid into a dry driver's seat.

Then I got a call that my car was ready. Yeah! To get my own car back... (in dreamy, eyes glazing trance)... So after dropping the kids off at home (I knew it wouldn't be super easy at the dealership... I have that kind of experience...), I zoomed over. It took another 1/2 hour to process the rental back in. The sales clerk gave me a free upgrade and full tank of gas the "next time I rent a car." After all this experience, I'm not sure I'll EVER be back.

Then I had to walk outside (almost a block) in 42 degree weather (that's really cold for us!) with a wind chill factor of (put # here, as I don't know, but it was strong and super cold!) to the dealership. They only took about 10 minutes. I was rather impressed. So, the warranty insurance is now out $1400+, and I have a like-new car!

Woohoo! Boy am I spoiled and very grateful for what I have. I love having all my little perks of my van back! We love it; we LOVE it! Toodles for now! lisa

Cuttlebug Spot Challenge #17: Love Word

Here's my take on the Challenge over at The Cuttlebug Spot. The challenge was to use the word "Love" on a card. I used the Cuttlebug (Divine Swirls) to emboss the foil cutout.
The hearts embossing folder adorns the background, as well as Sakura's Jelly Roll (glitter red) to emphasize the hearts. Then the embossed "with love" border sits underneath a Threading Water cut border.

I liked it, and I hope my hubby will, too... next Saturday. It's coming soon! Toodles for now! lisa

Another Card for Valentine's Day!

This one is really cute (I think!). It involves a challenge over at Scrapbook BINGO to win the Christmas Noel Solutions Cartridge. This is something I really want to win, so I'm making sure I'm ahead of the game. The challenge was to make a Valentine card with hearts other than the "normal" colors of red, pink, white, etc. I chose yellow and blue (adds to the green of the card). LOL! A "duh" moment...
Cartridges used:
Stretch Your Imagination (grasshopper card)
Doodlecharms (hearts)
Pooh font

Other materials:
Chalks (for perfect coloring on grasshopper and reverse shading on hearts)
Vellum (for background)
ATG gun
Sakura Quickie Glue (for the finer fonts and antennae)

Hope you like it... Toodles for now! - lisa

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ranting Session

Part of the reason I've been so "off" lately is my lack of time. I have been going between the brake shop and the dealership for two weeks now. One blames the other, says they can't find anything, says it's "this" when it really isn't, fixes a "problem" that isn't there, can't figure anything out, etc. So, Juan (my hubby) heated the car up (we have told both locals that it doesn't make the funky sound until it's been more than warmed up) and took the mechanic around in the car, and he finally heard the funky sound (sounds like pigeons). YAY!

So... when they checked it out... it turns out it was a total of two hubs (don't know which, only know it's a front and a back one), maybe something else. The estimate is $1300. Thank goodness we actually bought the extended warranty, so it is only costing us the $50 deductible. Whew! Juan was smart!!! However, a little while ago, both front hubs were replaced. Regardless, that isn't the least of my complaints.

They (the extended warranty insurers) are paying for 3 days of car rental. ONLY 3... no matter if the car isn't done or not. So... I went yesterday to fill out the paperwork, and since they (the car rental) is closed Sundays, arranged to pick it up today, with the understanding I would have to return it Tuesday morning or before (based on if the car is done early or not). I was told I would simply have to come and pick up the car.

WRONG!!! Juan dropped me off 1/2 hour prior to my appointment. I was first in line, went up, and ugh! They asked me for all of the information again, and then some. Then argued with me about the conditions of my rental. I won that one. However, because I don't have an actual credit card, and my card is only debit/credit, I had to physically fill out more paperwork and provide references and such. I must have been filling out a dang credit card application or bank loan docs for all of that!

OK, so... that done, I sat for 1 hour 15 minutes doing nothing but playing games on my phone. I am normally someone who would take a book or magazine or cross-stitch or just something to do to fill the time and make it just a little more productive. But, I thought I would be in and out of there.

To their credit, they were extremely busy with only 2 sales reps and no reprieve in sight. They also were supposed to close by 12, noon. I don't think they did... customers kept coming. Finally, I was taken to another lot a mile away, as they had to replace my car with the same brand (Chevy) and something comparable. So, I got another Uplander. Only... I am so spoiled. This one has none of the following: Upgraded Captains chairs for the backs, leather seating, middle console, push-button sliding doors, pockets on the back of each chair, electric adjustment of the driver's seat, dvd player, storage in the ceiling area, and... and... lol! See, I told you I was spoiled. But, whatever.

I will be making due with what I've got given to me. Hopefully, it will take less time. That's all the drama I'm disclosing to you at this time. But rest assured... there is MUCH more! Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CuttleBug Spot Challenge #16: Sweet Child / Cuttlebug Challenge Blog #17: Love-Themed

This challenge was posted Monday (yesterday) on the Cuttlebug Spot. It was to make a Valentine's for a child. It was also posted 02/04 on Cuttlebug Challenge Blog, so I am putting it for both! Yeah. I've never done that, so I hope people don't mind.

Here is my take on it:
"I'll Hiss for a Kiss" I just popped with it when I saw the snake from Animal Kingdom. I saw so many things I had ideas for, but this one just clicked a little more. And I used scraps I already had. Woohoo!
The hiss and the snake were made from Animal Kingdom; the snake's pink diamond back was embossed using the Cuttlebug Textile folder. ("HISS" is actually two sizes [1" and 1-1/4"], since there is no shadow feature on the "sounds" of the animals.) The other letters are Opposites Attract and dusted/inked with bright pink daubers from Direct Memories.
Of course I had to add Stickles somewhere... so I put it on the skin of the snake (in Cinnamon), emphasizing the diamond back. And I used the "Heart" embossing folder for the background of the card, then sanded the red cardstock to bring out the white core of the cardstock and make the hearts "pop" a little more.
Since it was for a child, I felt only google eyes were appropriate to add a little humor and character to my otherwise fearless friend.

Hope you like it, and check out the links above for more fun and challenges on their blog! Thanks Nilda! And thanks to everyone at Cuttlebug Challenge Blog, as well.

Cuttlebug Challenge Blog - Be Inspired Challenge #16

We were supposed to take Marissa to Disneyland today, but she got sick, so we are home, so... I decided to take a few minutes and do this (made a card)!
This week's challenge was to use distressing. I chose to sand and use Tim Holtz Walnut Stain ink.

First, I sanded my cardstock. (This would allow the ink I am going to use to absorb into different areas, giving it an old feel.) Then I applied the walnut stain ink to the Cuttlebug embossing folder, on the non-raised side, and sent it through, dry-embossing it. The edges are then torn and re-inked to add the "old-paper" feel and look to it. *I was trying to find a more versatile way of using a Halloween-type folder. I *think* I succeeded, don't you?
Then I added the sentiments and embellishments. The purple words "Dust Off the Cobweb" and "is here!" are embossed with Ranger's Puffy in purple, and "Spring!!!" is embossed in hot pink glaze. I left a flower floating on the web for effect.

Hope you like it. You can see more takes on the challenge and check out a challenge of your own on the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog. Good luck! Toodles for now! lisa

HUGE Give-A-Way for Scrappers (and Card Makers, too!)

Heck! For any type of crafter!

Danielle is an awesome paper crafter (scrapper and everything inclusive). She is... (get ready for the drum roll...) giving away a CRICUT EXPRESSSION!!!!! Can you believe it? But, there is a catch! She wants to get to 600 comments. (We are below 200 on 02/03/09.) So... let's help her (and us!). Please go to her blog and leave a comment. AND do me a favor (por favor!)... I have another friend who is trying to win the other prize, so... please let Danielle know (in the same comment) that "Captain Scrappy" (my friend, Jenn!) sent you.

Good luck to you all! Go back everyday!!! The more comments, the closer one of us gets to getting the Big Bug! Woohoo! Toodles for now! lisa


Thanks to Christina (Been There, Done That, Have the Layout!), more blog candy is up for grabs. She has a whole boatload of stuff to celebrate!

First of all, her work is excellent. Secondly, her self-portrait is pretty hot (so all you fellas out there need to take a look, too!). She had her 6-month blogaversary, has had over 3,000 hits (much more than mine! lol!), and has hit the over 200 comment mark (again... much more than mine! lol!). What does she do to be so great? Whelp folks, go on over there and check it out. You will find a great card maker, scrapper, crafter, and friend (also a member of Scrapbook BINGO!).

Leave a comment for her and you will be entered into a drawing for a wonderful package (includes glitter stacks, ribbon, stamps, etc.)! But you gotta go see to enter... So... just click the link next to her name, and you will be taken there. Toodles for now! lisa

Friday, January 30, 2009

OMG! I finally made 2!

Pages, that is... It has taken me a couple of months to get back into it. I began by making cards. Thanks to Amanda (of Scrapbook BINGO!), she has motivated me to create something. I really want to win a Cricut Christmas Solutions Cartridge, so I'm doing ALL of the challenges she asks for. This last challenge was for a layout (not a card) that use 3 Cricut Cartridges. So... Here is goes!
I've had this layout "planned" for quite a while, just never executed. It may be a little "gaudy" or pink for some of you, and the colors are totally not my style, but I was trying to get the true vibe of the Quincenera (15th Birthday Party [Coming Out] of a girl). This is the two-page layout.
I had so many pics, I had to do accordion photos. Then, since (duh me!) I put the accordions on the left-hand page, they tend to fall down when closing the album, so... I had to ribbon them up with a tie.
Marissa kissed a lot of people that night. So, I got a little "Kiss Me" action going on. I created this heart using the Coluzzle templates with my own twist. I folded the cardstock, then cut, folded and cut, etc., allowing a total of three hearts that one folds over the other.
One of the 3 Carts I used was "Happily Ever After". The frames of the two accordion albums, as well as the Spanish version of Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) were created using this cartridge. I love the way the oval frame surrounds the doll (muneca) and makes it appear to be a mirrored image.
Another was "Opposites Attract". With this cart, I made the letters that spelled out "Michelle's Quince" and "[15]". I sponged the fluorescent pink letters with a dark pink to make it blend a little more (but with a little bit of pop) with the layout.
The final cart used was "George and Basic Shapes". "The Princess & Marissa" was made from this. I left the title alone in a light pink shade. I thought it looked pretty good.
And of course... I had to use Stickles. I Stickled the crown and the necklace of Aurora in Diamond" and used Cotton Candy for the flourishes surrounding the one title and around the folding heart album.

Thanks, Amanda for pushing us to get our things done! Gotta go clean up my mess... Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Cards and a Little Bit of Happenings...

You'd think by now I'd be doing more layouts... Nope! Got some more cards done this week. I belong to a card club and hadn't sent the ones from November or December, or the Christmas cards I signed up to do. So... I put a simple gift in pre-made Christmas cards and made the November and December cards, plus all of the previous belated birthday cards (from August on, in my group), and all of the February Birthday cards. I am so caught up now!

Now... I can begin working on more layouts.

I will be printing picks from Walgreens, as they currently have a special of "print 50 for $5.00. Not too bad... They are quick and easy. But if you know me... I have to have them sent to me (instead of 1-hour photo), as I much prefer the matte finish. I can do so much more with it - add chalks, erase around, ink better, etc. Where a gloss picks up fingerprints WAY too easy for my taste and repels a lot of the things I like to do to photos.

So... here's a little bit of what's been goin' on here. I've been "stripping" a day bed. I intend to deep white-wash it to blend with the room, but am still working on it. There is a solvent that is "safe" for the environment (orange gel stuff - YUCK!). Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well. So... here's a little bit of me in my "stripping" clothes! Yeah!
I found some pretty vellum and striped paper on Monday and had to make a card with it. So, here is my "masculine" card. The sentiment is George with the Cricut and is chalked then distress-inked in pond green.
Marissa had a birthday (or two...). She should have had 3 by the time Super Bowl Sunday KickOff hits... We did a cake with Daddy, before he went to work; then... we had some friends over. Marissa wanted a BIG HUGE cookie with M&M's for that... Sunday will be Princess cupcakes (from Hello Cupcake!) with a little adjustments here and there. She will also have a princess-type party with Scene Setters (thank you, Karen!). She'll love it.

I also made this card (today) for the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog. We were supposed to create a card based off a sketch, and here is my take on it. Although the entries had to be posted by yesterday (so much for my anti-procrastination campaign...), I still went ahead and did it, just so I kept up with them. It's a little corny and says, "a little bubbly?"... It's intended for my friend after she gives birth to her (now) overdue daughter #2. The circles are punches, then either reversed inked or inked after dry embossing with the Cuttlebug. The sentiment is stamped in silver then heat embossed with a holographic glitter. Uh... I was a little off in my stamping, as I miscalculated the spacing and so the "l" and "y" of the bubbly is WAY off. But... I still think it looked cute.
I then tried to distress it and can't figure out how all of you get it to look just right without leaving lines or the paper curling up (and ink running!) when you spritz it with water. So... anyone out there? HELP me! (Just leave a comment or e-mail me. I am always looking for tips and tricks. Thanks for everything. I'm tired and gotta go to bed... Toodles for now! lisa

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Insomnia Strikes Again!

Yikes!!! I am officialing a meet in the morning (this morning) and I can't sleep! So... I changed my template. It took quite a while, as I'm fairly new to this whole thing without using one found on Blogger. But, I did it. I played with the colors in the fonts and stuff, too.

Please give your honest opinions and maybe some suggestions, too... PLEASE?!? Any other help will do.

I am still looking to do my title banner with something a little more me... but, you know... BABYSTEPS all the way! Hey!

And in case you don't check out my weight loss blog... I have now lost 10 pounds!!! Yay me! Whelp folks... I really should try harder to get some sleep, so here I go. Toodles for now! lisa

Friday, January 23, 2009

State of CA "I Owe You" Rumor

NEWSFLASH! It was merely a rumor (you know how those fly... we all watch Desperate Housewives) that the State of California will be administering "IOU"s for those with a tax refund for the year 2008. It was previously spread that we didn't know when we would get our money back.

Here we go. Misinterpretation state wide. The State Controller issued a statement on January 16, stating that there would be a "30-day delay" on all refunds processed February 1st and after. Please see the article: State Controller announces delay for tax refunds for further information.

In other words... don't spread rumors! Many people (myself included) were extremely hot about this situation. Although I usually research claims (especially those that would infuriate me...), I failed to do so this time. Hope this makes your weekend. Have a great one! Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tips and Quips... for the Midweek

I didn't do anything really creative today except make chicken soup and homemade rolls. I have been diligently exercising, writing in my weightloss blog, and cleaning out my garden areas, getting ready for springtime (yes, it comes quite early here in Southern California!). So, maybe I have been neglecting you all here, but hey! I've been scrolling and reading for ideas... so I thought I'd give you all a little sumpin' sumpin' to tide you over in the midweek.

Thanks to Jenn at Scrapbook Bingo! She found this incredible site for all of you who like to do challenges. The Daily Dare boasts "Take the Challenge... We Dare You..." and compiles a list (with links) of all of the creative blogs posting challenges every day, so you don't have to do a search or scroll of your faves. You also (as Jenn says) don't have to remember which ones do challenges, or what day they do them, as TDD does it for you! btw... if you don't like to "check" blogs so much, they also have a e-mail sign up via Feedblitz, which I highly recommend. Thanks again, Jenn (love the rhyming!!!). Also, please don't forget to check out Jenn's blog, too! She is ultra creative.

Another tip was provided by Doreen (also of Scrapbook Bingo! fame...). Have you tried super duper hard to find Dew Drops, Skittles, or other type of mini "glass" (actually epoxy) gems only to find they have been discontinued or prices uber-raised? Look no further... you can make your own with clear hot glue and (if you want to color them...) alcohol inks! The directions are simple and easy, and you can find them here. Much more inexpensive than the hard-to-find storebought ones, they can be sized to whatever you wish and colored however you wish, as well! Woohoo! (In the photos... The "Robin's Nest" drops are purchased. The light blue ones are homemade!) Thanks, Doreen for the site, and thank you Lindsay Weirich (The Frugal Crafter) for the tidbit. Your blog (and creations) ROCK!

Ok, folks, that's all I got today. It has been busy for me, since I'm trying to stay busy and spend less time-O on the computer (lol... don't we all have that problem?). And with teenagers' activities and an almost 4-year-old... you know how it goes. So... Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Cards from the Weekend

Ok, sorry late in posting these, but I have been busy with my weight loss blog (see link in sidebar). I've also been blog surfing, trying to come up with ideas and inspiration. But... I'm ready to post these cards I made over the weekend.
This card was made (quickly) on Saturday for a Quincenera (Girls 15th [Coming Out] Birthday Party) that I didn't know I was going to until that morning. For the scalloped circles, I used Mini Monograms and my Cricut. The sentiment is George and Basic Shapes. I inked a Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, then ran one of the scallops through, the other scallop went through without the ink, then I layered them. I love the Fiskars "Threading Water" border punch, so I used that too. Underneath it all are two ribbons, a purple and white striped organza over a wide silky satin white ribbon. I sponged the card and the envelope and added some bling to the center of my scallops, as well as Stickles on the sentiment to make the card sparkle.
It may look a little off center, as it was initially meant to go horizontal, but I had printed the inside poem to read portrait-style, so I had to quickly change it. But, I think my "Birthday Blessings" came out okay, don't you?
And Sunday, while I waited for my brakes to be done (yes... I waited AT HOME!), I made 6 cards to catch up with the 2008 card club. I still have 6 more to make, then I can finally sign up for the January 2009 Card Club. I should be finishing those tomorrow. So... there are six of these:

The card club cards are supposed to be blank on the inside, so I just wanted to add a little sparkle to the starry night and Stickled (with a sponge) around the "Way to Go!" (done with the George Cartridge and my Cricut). The chipboard button is from the $1 bin at Michaels. The snowflake border at the bottom is Martha Stewart (on clearance at Michaels). I lined the inside with plain white paper for ease in writing and also to accentuate the border on both sides.

I will be entering both of these cards in the Cricut Christmas Noel Challenge #1 on Scrapbook Bingo... Watch Out Girls! I'm comin' to win it!!! LOL! Just kidding, but sorta serious. Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got a wonderful Award and would like to pass it on...

Thanks to my friend, Christina from Scrapbook Bingo! On her blog, she awarded me and seven other friends this fantastic award, meant to show our Proximity - to life, to scrapping, to everything.

(Please see the award in the sidebar to the right.) This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

I frequent the following and am usually in awe...









Each and every one of these bloggers has a unique style and contributes a lot to the scrapbooking/cardmaking world. Please go visit them and get some fresh takes on something old or new. Happy blog surfing! Toodles for now! lisa

Congratulations, Ann! (and BLOG CANDY alert!!!)

Ann has an awesome blog (Craftroom Creations)! Someone thought it (and her work, too!) were so awesome, she was chosen to be on the Cuttlebug Challenge Design Team. So... Ann has decided to celebrate, and she wants to include all of us in that celebration. She is giving away BLOG CANDY!!! Woohoo! It is an awesome diecut "Treetops" for the Cuttlebug. Be excited for her and go post to her blog. You all have a chance to win, maybe even two, so read the details.

Congrats again, Ann! I'm sure your creations will continue to be grand. Toodles for now! lisa

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cuttlebug Be Inspired Challenge #14

Hey you guy-eyes! I finally did a Cuttlebug Challenge! Woohoo! Yay me! It was to create a card using "your favorite embossing folder." Whelp folks... I don't have a favorite folder, perse... But, I did need to make a "Thank You" card for a friend.

Here's a closeup. I was trying to go off the brown and pink of the ribbon. I brushed a pink ink pad over the embossing to make it pop a little more. Also added is the "Thank You" done in a text box in Word. And of course... Cotton Candy Stickles. This is the "Friend" embossing folder. I gently added the "my" above the word friend. There is a cute little saying inside as well.

Hope you like it and get a little creative on your own! Let me know how you did and what you did. Please leave a link, so we can all explore your creations. Toodles for now!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finally! My New Year's Slide Show...

Finally, it is here (took me FOREVER to do it, too!) A small glimpse into our campout on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, beginning the morning of New Year's Eve. Enjoy the floats, the bands, and my kids for inspiration! Just click on play, then light the fuse and begin!

Click to play Rose Parade 2009
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

I can't wait to scrap these photos. I think I'm probably going to do a full series of Rose Parade books... Toodles for now! lisa

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Whew! The Days Go By So FAST!

Yikes! It's already past two of my kids' birthdays for 2009! OMGosh! Rey turned the big 1-5 on January 1st (she froze along with me), and Stacy turned Sweet 16 today (she shares this date with my bro - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH!). I still have one more kid and two steps to go through, but they will all be done by mid-February. Yes, it's a lot to go through, especially right after Christmas.

Still working on the weight issue (been exercising everyday!). But... I have got to focus on my cards, crafts, and layouts right now. So... since I've actually been working a lot on my house and my kitchen is already cleaned up... I'm gonna go get some things done! Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


First off... HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!!

Secondly, I wish all of you all of the best for the new year to come, and all there is afterwards.

Yeah... I know... It's been a while... since last year, in fact! LOL! So, we did the Rose Parade (very cold!) and Rey's birthday, and took down Christmas... I've been working so hard on doing a slide show for the Rose Parade for all of you, that I haven't had much other computer time.

Oh! I know it's not hard... the problem is, there are lots of pics, and my computer keeps freezing, doesn't save it, and I have to start ALL over again! I will now be working on my 6th attempt, and boy is it time-consuming.

Also, I've been exercising. I finally started another blog yesterday called Losing a Little Lisa? so that I can actually track my efforts and journal it without boring you (for those of you who just "don't want to know"). Otherwise, if you do, feel free to click on it. The link is also to the right on the sidebar.

I will still be doing crafty things, too. I've just been doing the usual "New Year" re-organization. I seriously need to get rid of all these boxes! I have to "move" too much stuff to get to what I want, and it takes too much crafting/scrapping time. What a waste.

Anywho... I will try one more time to do the slideshow, probably later today. Otherwise, I may just have to go a different venue (I'm currently trying Smilebox). Blogger has one, which goes into a side bar or gadget spot, but I was trying for a spot within a post. Anyone have any other ideas (I don't want to do PowerPoint, though... haven't done it in years and am really kind of afraid of trying it again... lol!)? Comments are always welcome!

Off to skoot my butt, now! Toodles for now! lisa