Monday, April 20, 2009

My own color challenge

OK so I absolutely love the Stamping Bella Bloggabella color challenges, this week's color was pink and brown, a color combo that I simply adore! Here is my entry:
I used Stampin' Up! Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla cardstock, and Designer Series paper. The image is Stamping Bella No Fair Girl.

Because da Bella inspires me so, lately I can't go ANYWHERE without seeing color combos that I love and must recreate in my stamp room! Nothing is safe - coffee cups, napkins, store displays and logos, clothing, accessories, etc. You name it, I am cataloging the color combo somewhere in my mind. So you can imagine what went through my mind when I saw this picture in Better Homes & Gardens magazine this month:

and I just had to do my OWN color challenge and design a card around it, here is what I came up with:I used SU! Whisper White, Green Galore, and Only Orange cardstock. I just used strips of cardstock to make the stripes. The image on this one is Princess Anya from the Greeting Farm.

Today was stay-in-my-pajamas-and-stamp-day, so I have been having fun. My friend Mel asked me to make a bridal shower card for her. The invitation that she got had the colors olive and brown in it, so I went with that, and I was really pleased with the results, what do you think?

I used SU! Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, and Very Vanilla cardstock along with Designer Series paper. The stamp is the mini Sposabella by Stamping Bella.

Off to create some more! Peace.

Contest entries

The Pink Cat Studio is having a contest, the prize is a set of Lily Summer stamps. The deal was you had to make a birthday or a baby card. And you had to use stitching or 3-D/pop-ups. I colored Lily and the lollipop twice and then cut out one Lily and one lollipop and used pop-ups to make them stand out:

Happy 4th Birthday, Pink Cat Studio!

AND - the Greeting Farm also had a contest that I just had to enter this month, too. The prize is a free stamp set - I absolutely LOVE their adorable images, I've received a few images from friends and am feeling the need to purchase some of my very own soon! Here's my entry:I guess I was feeling pink today. I actually really like this one, I "stepped outside of my box" a little bit... and I'm happy with the results! What do you think?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

My visitor

So I was sitting on the front porch this morning enjoying the sunshine and reading a magazine. Jeremy pulled up and I said to him, "Look at those trees, when the leaves grow in they are going to form a nice arch right over our drive-way, isn't that cool?" and I ran in to get my camera. I hear him say, "What's that on the branch??" as I was walking back out with my camera. It was a rather large bird... I think it was a young hawk. He was sitting up on the branch tearing something apart and eating it - probably a baby squirrel or chipmunk or something. See - he's got a white chest and brown back/feathers/head - I kept walking closer and closer until I was right underneath him, I got about 10 shots of him before he flew away. His wing span was impressive for what I think was not yet a full-grown hawk:

Now here are the trees that I was talking about - the hawk was sitting right on that thick branch that comes out of the tree on the left, sitting right over the driveway, up pretty high. I am starting to see buds on the trees and it's such a nice feeling. I am really looking forward to seeing green again!! This is right above my front door, the light does not work - all of those little things you see inside are bees' nests!!! I found a tiny bees' next on the walk-way and looked up and saw this!

I love this time of year, I bought a bunch of fruit yesterday and made a yummy fruit salad. I love eating fresh fruit with yogurt, especially for breakfast. I bought a giant bag of frozen blueberries and made home-made blueberry bread this morning, doesn't this look delicious?

I found a recipe on and I just doctored it up a bit to my liking, I do that quite often. I like to play with recipes and ingredients to come up with new stuff for my family to try. Jeremy, my husband, is the hardest person to get to try new things. If he could, he'd eat the same things every night for the rest of his life: steak, rice pilaf, and canned corn or fried chicken with a baked potato and sour cream. LOL We had a bunch of ham left over from our Easter dinner, so I decided to make something different last night. I took some chicken breasts and cut them in half - then pounded them flat, dredged them in flour/salt/pepper and browned them up quickly in a frying pan. I pre-heated the oven to about 400. Put the browned chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish. Put slices of ham on top of the chicken and sprinkled shredded mozzarella cheese on top of that. Mixed a can of cream of chicken soup with maybe 1/4 cup of sour cream and a dash of milk. Poured it over the whole thing and baked it for about 1/2 hour. When Jeremy saw what I was doing, he said "Looks.... weird.... but I'm sure it will be fine..." but I could tell by his face that he really wasn't so sure. LOL Let's just say that Jeremy ended up having seconds, that's how delish it came out!!! :o)

Off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day! Peace.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!

I am on VACATION, baby! The kids are off for their April vacation next week, and Cassidy's birthday falls during that week, so I always try to take this week off from work. I can hardly believe that my "baby" is turning 14 next Wednesday. It seems like just yesterday she was following me around the house with her blankie asking me 8 million questions. She started talking when she was about 9 months old, and has literally never stopped. LOL When she was about 4, she'd sit on the dryer while I folded laundry and if she had nothing else to say, she'd ask me questions about the laundry - "is that daddy's shirt?" "Yes, Cassidy, that's daddy's shirt." "Is that mommy's skirt? Trevor's socks? Cassidy's pajamas?" You get the picture. She's a beautiful little girl blossoming into an absolutely gorgeous young lady, and I'm extremely proud of my daughter. This is me and her on Christmas Eve:Happy Birthday, princess. Stay true to yourself and just keep being YOU, we love you!

Now here is my latest contest entry for the Stamping Bella Bloggabella color challenge, you had to include a flower on the image, so I used a flower template for behind the main image:

I have a busy week even though I'm on vacation. Cassidy and I are getting our hair cut, I'm getting a facial, I've got lunch and dinner plans with friends for a couple of the days, and I have to bring Trevor to the dentist. I'm sure the week will fly by but that's OK, I'll be having FUN! Peace!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Death. The death of someone you love or loved, you know or knew at any point in your life - it can affect a person in unexpected ways. This post here tells the story about my father, you have to read it to understand today's post.
Basically, when I was a little girl I had a mommy and a daddy, a sister and a brother. We lived in a house and daddy worked while mommy stayed home with us kids. At some point when I was in elementary school, my dad got sick. He had a heart attack, then another one. He was only in his late 20's when he had the first one. By the time I was a pre-teen, we had discovered that my dad was a drug addict. Cocaine was his drug of choice. He chose that crap over his family. He moved out and my parents divorced. I'm sure the chain of events was longer than I remember it, because it felt to me like one day I had a daddy and the next day I had a drug addict loser for a father.
Anyway, my father died when he was 44 years old. It was March of 1993, and I was pregnant with my son Trevor. I woke up one Sunday afternoon to my answering machine blinking furiously. My sister and I had not seen or spoken to him in years, and she had left me several messages that he was in the hospital, and that he was dying. They did not expect him to make it to the next day, and did I want to go visit him with her?
*sigh* It was awful. My sister and I went together (we were only 20 and 21 years old) and our father, 44 years old, was lying in a hospital bed with tubes keeping him alive. He looked like he was 80. His eyes were wide open, staring at the ceiling. He looked terrified. It broke my heart. Despite all the pain and heartache he had caused us, despite the fact that he abandoned us, despite the fact that I had professed my utter hatred for him every chance I got - it was awful. I was so sad for him. I was so sad for me, for my sister, for my brother. This was it, we'd NEVER have a chance to reconcile with him - he'd never have a chance to make it up to us. I had to choose to either continue hating him, or to forgive him (sort of) and give myself some peace. I can remember just bursting into tears, and holding his hand. He couldn't speak. I was crying and said "Dad, I'm having a baby and I'm getting married" and he squeezed my hand. My father died that night.
My sister and I stood in line at the wake, my brother refused to even attend (he was just a kid - we had all been burned badly by that time). We were so uncomfortable, we hadn't been involved in his life since we were kids and we didn't know hardly anyone who came - and they didn't know us. It was just... weird. But one of my dad's old friends, they were so close we called him "uncle Mike" when we were kids, showed up. I don't think he had seen my father in a while, either - he was a cop and I'm sure my father distanced himself from those friends (he had a lot of cop friends when he was young) when he became an addict. But he must have seen how shell-shocked I looked, because he came right up to me and hugged me and said to me "Remember your dad when he was a good guy, Jenn, because he was." That meant a lot to me, to know that someone knew my dad when he was my dad.
Yesterday when I got home from a long, draining day, I opened the newspaper and saw the obituary for "uncle Mike." He was only 58 years old and it said that he died "peacefully in his sleep" so I don't know what happened. But I have to tell you, I fell apart. I have not seen this man in 16 years, and before that it had probably been at least 10. I was just sobbing, and I was surprised at the depth of my feelings until it dawned on me why it seemed to be affecting me so much. This man loved my father, and he was one of the only people left in this world who remembered my dad as a good guy. And damn it, 58 years old is just too young to die. His brother, who was another of my dad's good friends and had to have been close in age to them, had also just passed away in February of this year. That's just too much pain for one family, and it just seems so unfair. Also, I wish I had contacted him over the past 15 years - I wish I had a chance to talk to him about my father.
So rest in peace, uncle Mike, and if you see my father, please give him a hug from me and then a kick in the ass for being such an idiot. Peace.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I need Spring!

Man, it's so damn DEPRESSING around here! New England can be beautiful, but it can also be dreary and depressing. Winter can be harsh, and this past one was a real doozy. Yeah, I just said doozy. I think that means I'm officially elderly or something. WhatEVA.

On top of the ugliness of leftover Winter, we had these stupid Asian Longhorned Beetles that infected our trees and so THOUSANDS of trees have been ripped out of the ground - and there are still many more to go. You know that saying, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone"? Well, that's how I feel about the now-gone trees. I didn't realize how much our landscape relied on those trees. Some were beautiful, some were not - but even the not-so-pretty ones often hid even uglier sights... one of the streets I drove down today had been absolutely annihilated - and in their wake were houses that now had absolutely no privacy at all, and a vacant lot full of weeds and trash. It was just... ugly. And as I drive down streets, I'm constantly amazed at how much our landscape has changed. It's really sad. And it's going to be bad in the Summer, too, all that Sun with nothing to help with the glare, to provide shade, etc. DEPRESSING!

Then last night I realized that Easter is this weekend and that we really had no plans, Jeremy had mentioned cooking a ham. So I called my mom and asked her if we were doing anything and I could tell instantly that she wasn't in a good mood from the moment she said hello, so I should have just pretended I dialed a wrong number and hung up. Anyway, I didn't, and she said "Well, no one ever calls me so I figured you had made other plans" in this nasty voice.

Other plans. She figured we made "other plans." We've spent every single Easter with her, forever. We've never spent Easter with anyone else. I just said, "no, mom, no other plans." The conversation didn't really go well and she ended up saying that she's working Saturday night (I figured that) and maybe she'd consider having us over for pie Sunday afternoon, since this would be the first Easter we weren't together (she actually said that, and I had to bite my tongue not to ask "then why would you not have assumed we were spending this one with you?" - I digress). I said "that's fine, mom, you call me whenever and we'll be home. If you want us to come, we'll come. If not, no big deal." So I was the better person, and I felt good about not lashing out, because I was just so annoyed at that point. She wasn't nice to me. She was bitchy and she made me feel like crap. I mean, even if she really thought I made other plans - why not just be nice and be happy that I called and wanted to spend it with her? Why not just say "Oh honey I have to work the night before, but we could have pie later on after dinner if you want?" Why does she have to be so freaking MEAN all the time?

I just don't understand the whole deal about me (and my sister) needing to call HER all the time - she never calls us, she'd go to her grave with never speaking to us again if we didn't call her. And when we do, it's always "Wow - one of my daughters is calling me?!?" Well, you know, we both work full-time too. And it kind of makes me feel sad to know that my mom would never call me or visit me if I didn't reach out. I will NEVER be like that with Cassidy. If anything, she'll be like "MOM - you don't have to call me EVERY DAY". hee hee :o)

And why, oh why, does it make me feel like a 4-year-old every time I'm feeling sad or mad about my mom? LOL I get mad, but deep down it's really sadness that I feel.

So yeah, I need Spring - I need to see some sunshine and flowers blooming and I need to be able to open my windows and be DONE with the depression! Spring is coming, right? Tell me it's coming! :o)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just a life update...

Thursday night, I went to a fundraiser for the Junior League of Worcester - my cousin and friend Christina volunteers for this organization, that's her in the glasses below. She is a PHENOMENAL woman who never stops, literally. I think she probably sleeps for like 2 hours every night, if that. She totally rocks, and I adore her. This picture was funny because Missy, Angela, me and Shannon were posing when Christina walked by and jumped in the picture. A woman who was walking with Christina looked at me and said "If you only knew her, you'd understand." And I cracked up laughing and said "Yes, she's my cousin - I understand!" hee hee

It was supposed to be a "Girls' Night Out" kinda thing, but Jeremy had a crappy week and day, so I invited him to tag along. This is Jeremy and me, I like this picture:
This is my friends teaching me the difference between a WRISTLET (with a strap) and a CLUTCH (no strap)... I don't have the heart to tell them that I will never call it anything other than a freaking pocketbook... LOL:
Ange, me and Missy posing underneath Jeremy's Union Hall sign:

This picture is priceless, I laughed for a half hour when I saw it:
So yeah, we had a really good time that night. We were home by midnight, because the night started so early, 6:00! I had taken the next day off from work because Jeremy's mom Dori and sister Chelsea came from California to visit.

Saturday morning Jeremy and I cleaned the entire house then we went to breakfast with Dori and Chelsea and Trevor. Today Dori and Chelsea are coming to have dinner with us, Dori is buying us LOBSTERS!!! Yum! They are staying with us tonight and tomorrow night before heading back to California. Chelsea is about 24 years old now, and I had not seen her in probably ten years - so she was about Cassidy's age the last time I saw her! She is beautiful and a sweetheart, I'm thankful for the chance to get to know her.

What else? Oh yeah - I'm working with an artist on designing my new tattoo. I'm still planning on a small bumblebee to honor Meg - and I'm 90% sure it's going to be on my foot. Stay tuned for more details.

OK off to finish the laundry and maybe make a few cards before my company arrives. Peace!