Random Ramblings: February 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kitchen sign

Last year I went to the Salvation Army and came home with all these goodies.  I loved the white cups for the kids, for icecream.  The green and turqouise jars were for the kitchen, since those are my accent colors in there.  The candle holder I loved, but is now broken.  The swim shorts were for the boys and they loved them. 
What about the picture you ask... Well I loved the chunky frame, but did not love the picture.  I mean it was a nice picture, but just not for me.  So I bought it anyways since it was only $1.00 I believe.  Maybe $2 at the most.  I wasn't exactly sure what I would do with it, but knew for that cheap price I could find something to do with it.
And I sure did.  I spray painted the entire thing black.  The canvas and all.  A few coats of glossy black spray paint.  Quick and easy.
Then I cut out a design with my silhouette and glued it on the canvas area. I cut all the letters out in white.  As you can see here in the picture the word HEART is spelled out. But I knew when I started the project that I wanted an actual heart shape there.  So in the silhouette software I opened up the heart shape and made it just big enough to cover the word and still fit inside the design.  I cut the heart shape out of turqouise paper to match the colors in the kitchen. 
To make sure it all was straight and aligned correctly I layed out the paper it came from and glued them right on inside each cut out spot.  Worked great that way. 
And this is the final result. I love it as an accent for the kitchen.
Its been moved around a few times from wall to shelf and to a differnt wall.  I have it now
hanging about the entry doorway into the dining room.  I love it very much. 

Have you made some home decor projects?  Feel free to share. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Home from Vegas

Las Vegas was our mini (very mini) 2 day vacation.  I think anything that allows you to get away from home, weather it be 1 day or 7 days can be considered a vacation. 
Well Thursday afternoon, well more like early evening we headed to Las Vegas to take my parents to the airport for their big vacation.  So we turned that into our mini vacation. 
Online at www.vegasview.com I found an AWESOME rate on a room for Thursday night at Circus Circus .  I was excited that I found this rate here because I thought this would be a perfect place for all of us to stay since the kids will have stuff to do too. 
We decided to stay Friday night too and got another great rate for the same room, so we didn't even have to pack up and move to another room. 
We got home yesterday evening and we were all pretty exhausted.  I am so sad to be home from our mini vacation, but glad to be home at the same time. 
I got all unpacked and laundry going last night.  So today will be time to play with all the hundreds of pictures I took while we were there.  As soon as I can get some organized I will share our trip with you.  I can't wait to see myself all the pictures I took... cause there was alot. 
The kids are starting to wake up and we need to get some errands for little Jacob's birthday party next weekend done and then it is play time. 

Where was your last vacation and what did you do?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Birthday little Jacob

I cannot even believe that ‎7 years ago tonight I was preparing to meet our little man Jacob. We had to be at Loma Linda at 5AM. I can not even believe that he is going to be 7 tomorrow. He is growing into quite a little man. He is so smart, loves to read and spells EVERYTHING. He will ask me for a glass of water and say "Mom, can I have a g-l-a-s-s of w-a-t-e-r. He loves to sit and write just random words all over anything that he can. I ♥ him so much. He is such a tropper when it comes to all the things hes been through in his little life.
He is such a good brother.  He got $40.00 for his birthday on Saturday.  So Sunday I took him to Walmart to pick out something.  He spent $20.00 on himself a remote control quad, and bought Caleb one too.  Then he spent another $2.00 on a doll for Chloe.  (I pitched in the extra few bucks).  He would have gotten Ryan and Marcus something had he had more money and even said he wanted to buy me and daddy something too.  What a sweetie to not just think of himself.  That made me one proud momma! 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB!!!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much and are so very proud of the big boy you are becoming. 

Tomorrow evening we are off to Las Vegas.  I am so excited!!  It is not a big trip or anything, but I am just so excited to get out of town for a day or two.  Our hotel room is booked for Thursday night, but we said we can stay another night if we are feeling up to it.  So I packed us all for an extra night just in case.  I am usually such a planner and have to know the exact plan.  But Jacob is a definate go with the flow kind of guy.  I love that abot him.  So I look forward to just being able to go with the flow and stay or not we will just see. 

I CANNOT wait to try out my new camera in Vegas. I know there is just so much to soak up with the camera. 

Have a great weekend everyone, I know we will! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Busy little Photographer

Well I would have to say last week was the busiest week I have had with my photography.  And can I say that I loved every single minute of it. 
3 days in a row.  Well it may not seem like much, but it was exciting.  I had 2 more scheduled, but they were rescheduled. 
Here is a little peek at the cuties I was working with.
Wednesday was this handsome little man AJ.
I have known his mommy for a long time and done photos for her many times. 
Little AJ's sister Brianna doesn't give up her smiles nearly as easily as this little man.
But I was excited that she wanted to do pictures when we were all finished with his photos. 
We got a few cute ones with them smiling.
He isn't looking at me, but they are both smiling and mommy and I are both happy with that. 

Then on Thursday I got to photograph these cutie patotie twins.  Logan and Hayley and their pretty mommy Ashley.  One day the week before I was driving past this red wall and it all of the sudden hit me that it would make a GREAT place for photos.  So since Ashley wanted these to be a suprise for her husband for Valentine's Day we thought this place would be perfect.  Oh and it was.  I am so in love with the way the red wall looks in the pictures that it is definately going on my list of favorite places to take clients.
Look at how little Logan is admiring his sister.  Isn't that sweet.  And what you can't see is that his hand is on her back as well.  So precious!
And I love this picture of Ashley with the babies. 

Then on Friday morning this little Diva came to me for some birthday pictures.  She wasn't giving up those smiles easily this day.  I did get a few, but I do have to say even without big smiles, we got some very cute photos.   I love this picture of her.  It was all her mommy's idea to bring all the shoes for her to take pictures with.  LOVE it. 
And her outfits... Too stinking cute.  This is little Miss Laelyah. 
Look at her.. she is just adorable.   I love how she has a good hold on that shoe. 

Then my Friday afternoon session got cancelled.  Then Sunday afternoon I was going to photograph little miss Laelyah's family, but it was so cold and windy that day so we rescheduled for a few weekends from now.  I can't wait for that one too.

So I worked hard to edit those as fast as I could so I didn't get behind. 
Then getting my little pretend studio all cleaned up was a job in iteself.  Oh let me show you how I set this all up in our dining room. 

Hey whatever works and gets the job done, right?  I sure think so.  Worked for me.  You sure can't tell from the photos that it is our dining room table or in our dining room.  So I say it worked great.

So then after cleaning that all up, I am now getting us ready to go to Vegas on Thursday, which also happens to be little Jacob's 7th birthday.  My mom and dad are flying to Hawaii out of  Las Vegas.  So we are driving them to the airport late on Thursday night.  We decided it could be a tiny mini vacation.  So we will stay Thursday night in our hotel room, at Circus Circus.  Get up Friday morning and hang out in Vegas for the day and then come home Friday evening.  Just getting away for the day is very exciting to me.  I got the 3 little ones all packed up and tomorrow we are going to clean the car, get the rest of us packed and we will be all ready to go. 

So now tonight I am going to try to get caught up on my {mantooth 365} photos and then it is off to bed. 
So goodnight! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Organizer

That title makes me laugh becuase some days I feel anything but organized. 
I really do try though to stay on top of things and stay organized. 
My day planner is the thing that I write in every single day.  I use the month at a glance calendar to write appointments, school events and schedules, Jacob's work schedule and of course keep track of paydays, what day bills are due, my photography sessions that are scheduled, birthdays and holidays.  You name it and it is important then it is written in there. 
Now I don't just stop there though.  I then color code everything.  Yes, EVERYTHING.  I think I am a bit OCD in this area, I don't know... I am a visual learner and always have been.  I used to color code my Biology notes in High School and College.  So I guess I just found that it works for me and that is what I stick with. 
After I write everything of importance on the monthly calendar, I then go to the weekly section and write it all in there again. 
I do this for 2 reasons.  I write everything in the month calendar so I can open it there and see the entire month at one glance.  So if I am planning something or need to schedule somthing then it is all in visible sight. 
Then in the weekly section I also write everything so when I am making plans during the week I can see right there what I have going on for the week, or don't have planned for the week as well. 
The spaces in the weekly section are much bigger so there I also write all our daily acitivities each night (or every few days really).  I guess you could say it is sort of like a journal.  It is all random stuff, but just things we did that day, or what we had for dinner, what errands I ran.  Like I said completely random.  I don't know if I am the only one, but I enjoy looking back a month, 2 months, 6 months later and remembering what I did all those days ago. 
Here is my monthly glance from January.  I actually like the way it looks all colorful like that. 

I love that at the front page of each month it has a spot for notes.  I use these alot.  At the beginning of February I made myself a list of blog posts I wanted to write about.  It may seem like, well why can't I just remember that?  Well sometimes my mommy brain takes over and I forget the simplest things.  I often say when I go to the store for 4 things, and no list I will forget 2 or 3 of them lol. No joke.  :)
So since I keep my trusty planner with me at all times, it is just where I write it all. 
I happen to really like the zebra design on the front as well. 

Now here is how I organize it by color.

Jacob's work schedule and paydays - GREEN
Holidays, Birthdays and Anniversaries - ORANGE
Appointments - PINK
Bills due - YELLOW
All things school related for all the kids - BLUE
My  photography sessions - PURPLE

How do you organize your day to day life and schedule?  Do you use a day planner of some kind?  Id love to see your system of life organization.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Potatoe Soup

Since we live in Southern California, the weather is rarely "cold".  If you go  by California cold, it still isn't that cold.  Especially lately it is more like spring weather than winter.  However, yesterday we did have a good overcast, cloudy day. It was so nice.  I would really like a few more of those soon.  Actually I would love a day like that with some added down pour.  I love days like that where you can stay in all day, do something crafty, or better yet bundle up with the kids on the couch and watch movies all day. 
Yesterday was nice. 
So in honor of our one day of cold weather (because today is back to beautiful outside) I thought I would share a great cold weather recipe. 
When I was growing up I was never a soup girl, but as I get older I have grown to appreciate a good soup, especially on a cold day. 
This potatoe soup recipe is so easy. 

(please note that this recipe isn't done with exact measurements so you be the judge of your own soup)

10-12 good sized potatoes - peeled and chopped up into bite size pieces
6 hot links
shredded cheese

1.  Boil the potatoes
2.  After they are boiled to almost mashed potatoe like consistency add some milk. Start with a little and add more as you mix.
3.  Mix it up so it is almost like mashed potatoes. 
You want some chuncks of potatoes in there but not solid potatoes because then it would be potaote salad.
4. Add the diced up hot links.  (I cut ours in half and in half the other direction as well)
5.  Add salt and peper to taste, add 2 handfuls of shredded cheese. 
6. Mix well.
Simmer for a bit longer on top of the stove. 

Enjoy a big bowl of it. 
I haven't tried it, but I am thinking you could add all the ingredients into a crock pot after you boil the pototoes and let it all cook for most of the afternoon. 

The next day if it is a bit thick, just add a little milk and it should become creamy again. 

This would be good also with some grilled cheese bread.  YUM.
Man I am making myself hungry now.  I think tonight is a leftover night. 

Do you have any cold weather recipes?  I would love for you to share.  I always love a great new recipe. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Owl beanie

Quite some time ago, while surfing the internet, I came across this picture.  I instantly fell in love with them and knew that I wanted to attempt to make my little Chloe her own.  
(I am sorry I do not know the photo source of this picture, I saved it to my computer back then)

Well I went to Joanns with my friend Coree and we picked out the yarn and came back to my house and we got started. Well my first attempt was a no go. It was way too big. I wasn't going by any instructionsl, I was just winging it. Well I was using a puff stitch so it made it a bit stretchy, so it was just too big for her. So I started a new one with a smaller crochet hook and it was coming out much better. Well then I put it up, and didn't pick it back up until the end of last month. 
I said that this year is going to be the year to finish up all those half done projects, and by golly I want to get them done. 
So I pulled it out one night and got to work on the eyes and the pompoms on top.  Then I did the  braided things that come down on the sides.  I put it all together and LOVE LOVE LOVE how it came out.  She really liked it too, however that night she just would not stay still long enough for me to get a picture of her in it. 

The next day I put her up on the pool table and was able to get a couple shots of her with it on.

Since I made the first beanie, I used up all the rest of the brown on this secong beanie.  I still had alot of the other colors though, so I had an idea.  I put the pink, green,blue, white and blue together and crocheted another beanie.  A simple one and I used a puff stitch. 
I think it came out pretty cute too, and it is pretty thick.  I made it small so I can use it for newborns photoshoots. 

I can't wait for it to get cold here in Southern California so that little miss Chloe can use it sometime soon.  I can't wait to use the multicolored beanie for a photo shoot soon too. 
Have you crocheted anything recently?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I won !!


Oh yes... see who's name is listed there as a winner?  Yes, that is MY name.  I am so excited.  Nichol is my all time FAVORITE go to girl for inspirational scrapbooking and card making.  So to be able to win a spot in a class she is part of is truely exciting. 
Now I don't know if I will get to actually participate in all of the days but I will still get to see all of the videos and PDF handouts. 

Also, I bought THIS class from Nichol as well.  Who could beat the price at only $9.99.  You get an all exclusive link to the youtube videos for the class and a PDF emailed right to you with photos and everything.  I can't wait to watch the videos for this class, I just haven't had a chance to yet. 

I am telling you she is my favorite scrapper of all time.  She does amazing and beautiful work. 

Who are you inspired by? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

My **NEW** baby.

Yes my new baby.  That's right. I finally got her. 
The other day Jacob and I were running some errands and he was asking about the layaway for my camera. I told him all the details and what we still owed on it.  So he said ok lets go get it right now.  I kept telling him no and he insisted.  So he got right on the freeway and drove down to the Sears in Rancho Cucamonga and paid the final 2 payments of the layaway contract and she was mine to take home righ then and there.  I was so excited. 
He said he couldn't wait to see my smile when it was in my hands, and boy was I smiling. 
:) :) :) :) 
I took this picture right when I took her out in the car. 
She is very different from my sony so I read the manual just to make sure I covered all the basics. 
She is so fancy, I just love her.  I can't wait to see who will be my first photo shoot with her. 
I have a shoot scheduled for this weekend, and possibly my friends little boy one day this coming week as well. 
Oh I love her so much. 

Dear Jacob,
Thank you so much for my new camera. I love you very much and I am so very grateful for this gift.
I feel so very blessed to be married to you.  You are such a hard worker, and a great daddy.  You bring me such joy and happiness each and everyday. I do not know what I would do without you, and the kids in my life. 
I LOVE YOU so very much. 
Thank you baby.
Love, Nicole 

Here are just a few of her details.
  • 14.2-megapixel CMOS
    Captures high-resolution images up to 4608 x 3072 pixels.
  • 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom-Nikkor VR lens included
    With image stabilization for intricate picture detail and fast, accurate autofocus.
  • 3" TFT-LCD display
    With 230K pixels and a brightness adjustment for easy readability. One-Touch Live View shooting and movie capture for a clear view of what you are photographing or recording.
  • Video mode
    Records 1080p high-definition video with sound.
  • Burst shooting mode
    Captures up to 3 fps for fast-action shots.
  • High ISO sensitivity (up to 3200 and expandable to 6400 and 12800)
    For improved image capture in low-light conditions.
  • Fast 11-point autofocus
    Delivers razor-sharp pictures.
  • Flash modes
    Include auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye correction and rear curtain with slow sync.
  • Special photo effects
    Include standard, vivid, neutral and monochrome for creative images.
  • Scene modes
    Include portrait, landscape, child, sports, close up and night portrait for optimal settings for various shooting situations.
  • White balance options
    Include auto, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade and preset manual.
  • Multimedia card slot
    Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity and SDXC formats.

What kind of camera do you have?  Have you upgraded recently? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pizza, chips, and lots of sodas

I got a chance to run to Target tonight and pick up a few things.  I was super excited to find this score on the sodas.  I am really thinking I might go back and grab a few more.  I didn't find the free Iams dog food I was looking for either so I might go to the Target closer to me tomorrow just to see if they have it. 
Here is the breakdown of everything that I got. 

TARGET 02.01.2012
OOP : $105.07
SAVED : $49.00

{not shown5 pairs of clearanced underwear I got myself and a 20 pound bag of dog food and a 20 gallon bucket for the dog food}
Franks Red Hot $1.89 each
*used -.75c/1 makes them $1.14 each
Bud Light $12.29 and Doritos $2.50
*used -$2.00/1 Doritos if you buy an 18pk or larger beer
(found on the beer)
... made chips .50c
3 Diet Pepsi 6pk plastic bottles
3 Pepsi 6pk plastic bottles $2.50 each (x6 = $$15.00)
*used 3 -$2.00/2 pepsi bottled mutlipacks -$6.00)
made each 6pk $1.50 so total of $9.00 for all those
3 2 Liter Pepsi $1.00each
Milk $3.29 - just needed it
Market Pantry Cheese $2.59
*used 3 -$1.00/1 MP cheese makes them $1.59 each
4 Digiorno Pizzas 2/$9.00
*used 2 -$2.00/2 makes them 2/$7.00 or $3.50 each
Breathright stips $4.79
*used a FREE Target catalina
MP garlic Bread $1.89 and Pasta $1.09
*used a -$1.00 wyb garlic bread and pasta
3 tri color pasta $1.09 each
*used -$1.00/3 MP pasta
Marie Callendars microwavable pies $1.99
*used 3 -.50c/1 manfac coupon and a Target -$1.50/3 MC

So overall a pretty good trip. Got alot of good stuff.
Have you done any coupon shopping lately?  What deals have you found.  I would love to see what you got.