Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Look mom, I'm a dog....

Wow. It's already the last day of November. This just does not seem possible. Today is the last day for the My Scraps and More is Thankful for... contest. It's been a fun month full of super challenges- if you are ever in need of inspiration, all you need to do is head on over there and you'll be sure to find something to get you scrapping.

Here are two more of my recent  challenge layouts:
My 11.28 challenge, which was I am thankful for paper! The challenge was to use some of your newest paper purchased as well as make a handmade element.

and then my 11.18 challenge was to create a layout about your hobbies. Here is my layout for this challenge:

Tomorrow kicks off the My Scraps and More December contest; The Twelve Days of Christmas. There will be 12 challenges to complete and some fun prizes along the way. I hope you'll join in on the fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November MSAM DT reveal projects

Hello! Here are the  projects that I created for the My Scraps & More November design team reveal. We were given some of the beautiful MME Lost and Found Two collection and this is what I came up with:

A layout of Emily:

A layout of Skylar:

a key holder (my favorite project I created!):

(the big flower is actually made with an entire sheet of 12x12 pp)

and a card:

We are heading over to Seattle later this afternoon. Ashlyn has a GI appt over there tomorrow and then we are going to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, and then Ashlyn has some labs on Friday then we'll head home. I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

we have a winner!

Thank you to Bev, Lisamariemlt and Sherri for your kind comments about my first digital layouts! I appreciate them!

Now to announce the winner:

I used and here is what it came out with: (I tried to add the widget, but am not sure how- it selected #1, as I tried to show below.


Congrats Bev!!! I'll be sending your promo code for a FREE My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software soon!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a spark of madness....

"You're only given a spark of madness. You mustn't lost it. -Robin Williams.

While trying to come up with a challenge idea for the "My Scraps is Thankful for..." contest going on this month at My Scraps & More, I came across this quote printed on a sheet of Jillibean Soup paper and inspiration immediately struck. I had recently looked through old photos and these popped into my mind as the perfect photos to use; they aren't great quality photos, however they are silly and capture the essense of that little spark of madness that Skylar and Emily showed here (OK- Skye has A LOT of madness- she does these things daily, Emily, not so much). So I created a challenge around the quote and these photos; I am thankful for silliness. The challenge was/is to use silly photos and at least 5 different patterns. Here is the layout I ended up with.

On a side note- Ashlyn took these photos- I had no idea the girls had been doing this. When I first viewed them on the camera, I laughed hard! These are future photos that thier husbands are truly going to appreciate. heehee :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software and a giveaway!

A few weeks ago I was asked to to do a review of the My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software. Having never attempted to create a digital layout before, I was intrigued, and decided to step out of my comfort zone and give this is a try, especially since it was offered to me free- it can't get any better than that!  Oh, and they generously offered to give one away to you, my readers, as well!! How cool is that?! (We'll get to the givaway part soon, but I want to share my review and projects with you first.)

As soon as I downloaded the program, which is super easy to do, I sat down and played around a bit. Like I mentioned, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I started out by just looking around at all the options and then started clicking and creating. Before I knew it, I had created this layout:

wow- my first ever digital layout! I thought it would be a more complicated process, but it really wasn't. I created this page with a blank template and added the background papers and embellishments to it. It was pretty easy, and fun, too!

(then life got in the way and I didn't have time to play around again until Saturday- I wanted to spend a little more time playing around with this awesome program before I gave my review.)

When I sat down again, I decided that I wanted to use some of the pre-made templates- where the background and embellishments are already on the page, so I opened an album with 5 pre-mades and got busy adding pictures. I discovered that you could remove elements that you did not want, as well as copy and paste embellishments that are already on the page, or even add embellishments from the easy to navigate side bar.

for this one, I removed a leafy stem and then added the heart and red flowers.

I removed some red flowers from this one and then added a few from the sidebar that I liked better, as well as the torn notebook edge and some stitching.

I used the copy/paste feature to add the confetti-ish element and flower by my title on this one:

this next one is a bit blah, but I wanted to keep it simple and use what was included with the initial program download. I definitely need to pay a visit to the My Memories store to pick up some kits. They even have FREE kits!

This last template is so fun and I loved how there were so many spaces for photos! All I did for this was add a title and some journaling and I still have a fun page!

My Memories Suite also has several YouTube videoes and other recources to help you get the most from this program. You can see the videos here.

If you like your own copy of the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software you can order it here, and if you use my personal coupon code, STMMMS40269, you will get to get a $10 discount for the software! It's a great deal! Again that code is: STMMMS40269.

OK- now it's time for the part you all have been waiting for- the giveaway! My Memories is giving me a free download of this software to share with ONE lucky reader!!!
There are several ways to get a chance to get your name into the drawing:

First-Go to the My Memories website and choose your favorite digital paper pack or element pack. Come back to my blog and leave a comment on THIS post letting me know which one you liked the most. Doing this will give you one entry into the drawing.

But the chances don't stop there.You have two BONUS chances to get your name into the drawing, giving you a total of three chances to win! How cool is that?!

All you need to do is:

#2 visit the My Memories blog and follow publicly, then come back here and leave me another comment, letting me know you are following them.

#3 Like My Memories on Facebook, return to my blog and leave yet another comment on my blog.

There you have it- 3 ways to win one of these awesome digital programs! \

As with any giveaway, there are some rules:
the #1 above is a mandatory entry. If you do not do this one, no other entries will count.
in order to qulify for additional entries, you need to leave a SEPERATE comment, on THIS POST ONLY, for each addtitional step you follow- for example: you need to leave one comment stating which kit you like best, and if you decide to follow the blog, then you would leave a second comment, and if you want to follow on facebook, you would leave a third comment. If you only leave one comment for all three steps, you will only qualify for ONE entry into the drawing. You will qualify for three entries by leaving three comments.

I will randomly draw a lucky winner via on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. Good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Update on Ashlyn & a layout

On Friday I took Ashlyn to see an ENT. She has not been able to smell for nearly a year (maybe longer, but we honestly don't know), and now that she is finally maintaining her weight and slowly stabilizing, it's time to figure out all the "loose ends" that she still has going on health wise. I honestly never thought about taking her to an ENT- she's never had any issues with her ears, throat or nose that I thought would warrant this type of visit. I was extremely impressed with this doctor, and his wealth of knowledge and ideas and plan of action still has my head swimming.

The ENT told us that Ashlyn has some nerve damage going on in her nose. He thinks it might be either Lupus (which has been thrown out for her before) or even another auto-immune disease other than her Crohn's, a thyroid issue, a lack of her being able to process zinc or even an allergen. She is going to have a slew of bloodwork done early next week to test for auto-immune markers, vitamin and mineral levels, etc.

The BEST part is that he ordered the RAST allergy test that the US Bio-Tek lab does that I WANTED done by her "regular" allergist who wouldn't do it- instead he had her do the back patch test which ended up being a frustrating process leaving me with confusion and more questions. She will be tested for everything from food to chemicals to inhalents to ingestions. (this part makes me giddy! I have been calling around trying to find an allergist to do this, but they don't- and then we literally stumble upon it through an ENT- crazy!)

She is also going to do an at-home smell test- it's a big old envelope stuffed with all kinds of things.

He sent a sample of her nasal mucuos to the lab and the plan is that he will call me next week to start her on long-term steroids and antibiotics, but he needs to run this through her GI doctor to make sure that nothing interferes with the Crohn's treatment. As it sits today, with her drug allergies, Cipro seems to be the antibiotic that she can take without hives or itching or swelling. She is currently taking Carafate for her ulcers/severe nausea/bile buildup and while taking this she cannot take Cipro. She has another week with the Carafate, and to be perfectly honest, I am more concerned with the gi issues than I am with her taking antibiotics for her nose. Another week truly won't matter for her nose as much as taking her off the Carafate will directly impact her ability to eat.

All I know is that I am not sure what will come out of all of this, but I am feeling hopeful. I have been emotionally drained lately. Although she is coming along wonderfully overall in so many areas, especially her weight, there are still the daily issues and big health issues that she needs to overcome so she can maintain long-term. She is not out of the woods yet, so to speak, and until she can eat fully and not depend upon high-calorie formula drinks for the majority of her nutrition, then we are not in the clear. We are closing in one the one year mark where she started her down-hill decline and it has impacted me more than i could ever have imagined. Little victories seem like monumental mountains, and some days I am not sure which way we are heading- up or down, but we make it through day by day and start again tomorrow.

I am sure you would like to see a layout. I have this one from the MSAM Thankful challenge. Friday was also a day where I hosted a challenge, and I chose to be thankful for "good times".

I have a busy week ahead- I hope it's a good one- for you, too! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

A new month means a new contest at MSAM!

Happy November! This is my favorite month of the year. :) The air is cool and crisp, Thanksgiving is just weeks away, and the buzz and excitement of the Christmas season is just beginning to unravel. I have a lot to be thankful for this year and I remind myself daily of the blessings that surround me.

During the month of November, My Scraps & More is having a "Thankful" contest. Each day a design team member will create a challenge based on something we are thankful for.

I kicked off the contest Tuesday with the first challenge, I am thankful for laughter, and my challenge was to create a layout with a quote about laughter, as well as using rub-ons on the page. Here is my layout:
When I think of laughter, I think of Skylar, because the two are never apart. :)

My Scraps & More had a contest last month where each design team member posted a sketch with a challenge. It was a lot of fun to see the daily sketches and layouts that the members created with them. My last challenge for this contest was to use paper strips along with the sketch I provided, and here is my layout for that. The contest is over, however the sketches and challenges are in the forum- if you are ever in need of inspiration, MSAM is oozing with it!

Today we start the process of discovering why Ashlyn has been unable to smell since January. We did some additional allergy testing a few weeks ago, which left me more confused and frustrated, and without a clear answer, so I am in search of a new allergest who will perform the test I have been researching and want, and will hopefully not leave me with more questions than answers.

That's it for now! Enjoy your November blessings.