Category Archives: Our Life

First Day of Kindergarten and Homeschooling

This past week marked my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten and also our first week of homeschooling. Two very big firsts for our family!

Credits: Kit is “A New Day” by Sweet Shoppe Designs, the lined paper is from Misty Cato‘s “School Girl” kit, ABC border is from Quirky Twerp’s “Little Classroom Borders” (FREE), Template is by ChrissyW.

Father’s Day Card Idea

I ran across an awesome idea for a Father’s Day card at C.R.@.F.T (Creating really awesome free things) and I just had to copy it for my card to Greg this Father’s Day. I really like how it turned out. I did my best to layout and design the card as if it were an actual Google search. Of course I did it digitally and then printed it out. 🙂

Here is the front of the card:
Fathers Day Card Idea

Then you flip the card over for your search results:
Fathers Day Card Idea

In the “Sponsored Links” section I hand wrote a personal message to Greg after printing the card out.

Free Digital Scrapbook Template #63

I have another free digital scrapbook template for you. Looks like I am averaging one a month. Sad. I really need to pick up the pace with my own scrapping so I can create more templates too. Now if only some more inspiration would come my way! 🙂

Here is the layout I used to create the template.

Having a Field Day

Credits: Kit is “Simple Pleasures” by Sweet Shoppe Designs

To download the template, please click on the image below. You will be brought to my download page containing all of my available scrapbook freebies.
Free Digital Scrapbook Template

Just a note: the kit I used on my example layout is a freebie by Sweet Shoppe Designs. I am not sure how long it will be available but, as of tonight, it looks like it is still available for download at Donna Downey’s blog if you are interested. Here is a preview of the kit:

Free 2-Page Digital Scrapbook Template #61

I have fallen in love with 2-page templates. I think I may have to start creating some more of these. I love being able to finish 2 matching pages in one sitting. 🙂

Here is the original layout. It is of our little Breezy girl, who recently had to spend a night in the hospital for RSV. After a couple weeks on oxygen, we are glad she seems to be fully healed.

Bree's RSV Hospital Stay

Credits: Alpha – Striped Alphas by Dharamsala Designs, Background Paper – Warm Woolen Mitten by Three Paper Peonie, Flowers – Recess by Heather Roselli

And now for your free template download. 🙂 You can click on the image to be brought to my download page containing all of my available scrapbook freebies.
Free 2 Page Digital Scrapbook Template

Free Digital Scrapbook Template #60

I have another freebie template ready for download. Finally!!

Here is the layout it was created from.

This layout was inspired by a beautiful page created by Rebecca Cooper – the original can be found here.

Additional Layout Credits:

  • “Rub a Dub” kit by Kristen Cronin-Barrow
  • Alpha is “Basic Acrylic” by Delicious Scraps
  • Doodles by Kate Hadfield

And here is the template. You can click on the image to be brought to a page of all of my freebies available for download.

Bree at 8 Weeks

Sometimes I find myself sitting at my computer all evening, willing myself to come up with a scrapbook layout and coming up with nothing. This could be in part to my addiction to Facebook and reading blogs too. 🙂

To get out of my scrapbooking rut, I decided to try using a sketch/challenge over at Ella Publishing. It seemed to do the trick, as I was able to get another layout completed tonight. Hooray!

This is my Breezy girl at 8 weeks. She is really starting to interact and socialize with us more and just seeing her smile makes me smile too. I get a thrill of happiness every time I pick her up and hold her close.

Credits: Layout based on sketch by Donna Jannuzzi found at Ella Publishing; papers from “So Sweet” kit by Zoe Pearn; hearts and sparkles from “Happiness” kit by Three Paper Peonies.

I think you can still get Zoe Pearn’s “So Sweet” kit for free by subscribing to her newsletter here.

January in Review

I saw someone post a layout of pictures in a calendar format and I fell in love with it instantly. My mind began thinking on how I could make a template for it when I saw that she had linked up a template that she had purchased and used to make the layout. I went out and bought the template pack that night and I have to say that it is fabulous! Everything is on its own layer so it is very easy to customize.

Here is what I did with the template.

Credits: Template by Misty Cato “Month in Review 2010 Calendar Templates”, Papers by Martine McKnight “Winter Wonderland”, Snowmen by Digital Anemona “Christmas Gift”

I enjoyed making this layout so much that it almost makes me wish February would hurry up and get over so I can start on my February month in review layout. 🙂

Free Digital Scrapbook Template #59

I had a chance to get some scrapping done yesterday, so I have another template that I would love to give away.

There is a download for the 12×12 PSD file as well as a separate download for the PNG files if you use a program other than Photoshop. You can click on the preview to be brought to my download page that contains all of my available digital scrapbook freebies.

If you need inspiration, here are the two layouts I put together which were what I created the template from.

Credits: Rub A Dub Kit by Kristen Cronin-Barrow

One More Reason I Love Digital Scrapbooking – and a FREE Template

Wow, I think this is the longest time I have ever gone without a post on here in quite awhile. I guess I will use our new daughter as my excuse. Bree is now 5 weeks old. Born just a few days before Christmas, she was a wonderful gift!

After she was born, I realized that I still haven’t scrapped most of Adrianna’s baby photos yet. Rather than stressing about all the layouts I will have yet to do, now times two, I recognized that digital scrapbooking can help me simplify my scrapping in that I can make ONE general layout for a baby event (for daughter #1) and simply use that layout as a template to quickly make a second layout with photos of daughter #2. I can also easily clip papers and embellishments from a different kit to the layers of the original layout as well. This should be a huge time-saver for me, since coming up with the layout design idea is usually what takes me the longest when making a page.

So here is the same baby event (getting ready to head to the hospital to deliver) for both daughters. Same general design, two separate layouts created from one original PSD file.

Layout #1                                          Layout #2

Credits: Inspiration for the layout from this page by Eva Kipler; Ribbon by Dani Alencar ”On this day” kit; Kit on layout #1 and flowers by Paislee Press “On this day”; Kit on layout #2 by Jennifer Barrette “Chilled”

And of course I made a template out of my layout so it can save you some time too. 🙂

There is a download for the 12×12 PSD file as well as a separate download for the PNG files if you use a program other than Photoshop. You can click on the preview to be brought to my download page containing all of my available digital scrapbook freebies.

Scrapbook Layouts

Some of the layouts I have completed in the past couple of months.

Credits: “Just us Girls” Kit by RK Designs


Credits: QP by WM Squared Designs


Credits: QP by cshulthies (from the Scrapper’s Guide QP Album)


Credits: “My Girls” Kit by Neverland Scraps; Embellishments by Kate Hatfield


Credits: “Relax” Kit by Summertime Designs

Multi-Photo Challenge and FREE Template – July 2009

Wow, sorry for the delay everyone! It has been a busy summer for us. After a miscarriage in 2007, followed by a struggle with infertility, my husband and I are finally thrilled to be expecting another child. But…this means that most of my spare time these days is spent sleeping rather than scrapping. 🙂 I am finally getting some energy back now that we have entered the 2nd trimester, which means I was *finally* able to get some templates whipped up as well.

So anyways, on to the July challenge. Thank you for your patience!!

As always, there are only TWO rules for this challenge:

1. Create a NEW layout containing at least 4 photos.
2. Post your layout in the GDS Multi-Photo Challenge Gallery and then reply in the challenge thread with the link so that we can all see your creation. Layouts must be posted by July 31st.

I will offer up a free multi-photo template that you are welcome to use if you need some inspiration for this challenge. However, using this template is NOT required. Any new layout containing at least 4 photos qualifies. You can download the template for FREE, no strings attached, at the GDS Multi-Photo Challenge thread.

And, if you complete this challenge and post your layout in the Multi-Photo Challenge gallery by July 31st, you will receive this template as your free posting bonus:

It’s a biggie with room for up to 11 photos. The photo layers can easily be swapped for papers or embellishments though too, allowing for more flexibility.

I am looking forward to seeing your layouts!

Scrapbook Layouts

I’ve gotten a few more layouts done in the past couple of weeks. It is a good feeling and a lot of fun for me.

Old Fall River Road
Old Fall River Road

Journaling reads:

Greg’s sister, Kristi, came to visit us for Labor Day. We had an enjoyable time, filled with many activities but a lot of lazy times too. The perfect, long weekend.

On Saturday, we visited Rocky Mountain National Park and went up Old Fall River Road. It was a perfect day and a beautiful drive.

We took a short hike to the top of Chasm Falls. At one point, we lost the trail and were hiking on rocks that were worn smooth so that it was difficult to make the climb. Adrianna is a little trekker! Once we reached the top, we saw the “easy” trail and also a fence to keep people off of the portion we had just come up. Oops. And here we are trying to make a terrified face after we completed our hike and then discovered the sign to use caution. I love Adrianna’s scared face.

My Pretty Girl
My Pretty Girl
Credits: QP given by Mandy Mystiques (made by Trish)

Horseshoe Park – Alluvial Fan
Horseshoe Park - Alluvial Fan

Journaling reads:

In early September of 2008, we took a trip to Estes Park with Shad and Lynette Rempel. We do these mountain visits often.

On this particular day, we first stopped by the famous Stanley Hotel. We had never been inside before, and we weren’t disappointed – it is absolutely beautiful!

We also spent some time in the Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the sightseeing stops we made was at the alluvial fan created by the Lawn Lake dam failure and subsequent flood in 1982.

Fresh
Okay, so this next layout I actually made back in October, but I don’t think I have posted it here yet. It was an assignment using the Photoshop slice tool for a digital scrapbook class I was taking at GDS.

Fresh Grapes

Journaling reads:

The grape vine has been in our backyard since we moved into the house in 2001. It has produced grapes before, but this year it really outdid itself. We had a huge supply of fresh grapes for a month, even after sharing many of them with our neighbors across the street. We were also lucky enough to have a kind neighbor next door who let us have all of the plums from a few branches of her plum tree that overhung our back yard. We must have picked at least 50 or more. You just cannot get any fresher, sweeter or more “organic” than your own home-grown fruit.

My Gracie Girl
My Gracie Girl

The journaling is the lyrics from Ben Folds’s Gracie Girl song:

You can’t fool me
I saw you when you came out
You got your momma’s taste
but you got my mouth
And you will always have a part of me
Nobody else is ever going to see
Gracie girl

With your cards to your chest
walking on your toes
What you got in the box
only Gracie knows
And I would never try to make you be
Anything you didn’t really want to be
Gracie girl

Life flies by in seconds
You’re not a baby Gracie
you’re my friend
You’ll be a lady soon but until then
You gotta do what I say

You nodded off in my arms
watching TV
I won’t move you an inch
even though my arm’s asleep

One day you’re gonna want to go
I hope we taught you
everything you need to know
Gracie girl

And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see
but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl

All She Wants to do is Dance
All She Wants to do is Dance

Journaling reads:

Out of the blue one day, Adrianna asked me when she could go to a dance class. She loves to dance and often imitates cloggers when she sees them on tv. Well, I couldn’t find a clogger or tap class for 3 year olds, but I did find a pre-ballet class.

She was thrilled when I signed her up, especially after we watched some Youtube videos of other little girls dancing ballet. She then requested that I help her put on her new ballet outfit. She had a few additions to her ballet outfit and substituted her favorite glittery, red shoes in place of her actual ballet slippers. After the outfit was on, she immediately started posing to show us the different dance moves she had seen on the videos.

Me Time
This layout was made as a part of a challenge on a GDS chat last week. We were supposed to make a layout on our favorite way to unwind.
Me Time
Credits: Template by Andrea Gold

Journaling reads:

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to spend time on my computer. I enjoy blogging, reading blogs, IM’ing with my mom and sisters, and digital scrapbooking.

My comfort drink of choice is diet coke. I don’t know which I am addicted to more: the computer or pop. I have to have a daily fix of both.

My loyal dogs can often be found sitting on the couch next to me or at my feet.

Blow the Candles
Blow the Candles
Credits: QP given by Vera Lim, made by Shawtyp. I added a space for an additional photo.

Journaling reads:

Adrianna turned four this week. FOUR. I cannot believe my baby girl (or “big girl”, as she often reminds me) is four years old already.

We made cupcakes for Adrianna to share with her friends at childcare on Wednesday. She was excited to pick out the sprinkles and also helped me decorate them.

Adrianna loved being the birthday girl and center of attention at Nette’s. She was also delighted with the Tinkerbell helium balloon and Tinkerbell plates.

Scrapbook Layouts

I have completed quite a few scrapbook layouts over the past month.

Layla and Aidan Turn TWO
Credits: “Classic” kit by Designs by Krista

Journaling reads:

In August 2008, Layla and Aidan turned two years old. We traveled to XXX for the party, which was complete with a bouncy house for the kids.

Their gift from us was a Little People Barn set. We have a habit of buying other children similar toys to the ones that Adrianna owns and loves. This way, we feel they are already “kid-approved”.

Adrianna, Layla, and Aidan played really well together. One activity that they all took part in was filling their new dump truck with bubbles.

Playing in the Fountain
Credits: QP by Ellie Lash, Wordart by Misty Cato

Journaling reads:

Adrianna LOVES water. She plays in it every single chance she gets. So naturally, the fountains near the XXX are a big hit with her.

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Journaling reads:

We had lunch in Lusk, Wyoming, and then headed north to Devils Tower.

The area is beautiful and Devils Tower is very impressive. We walked the trail all the way around the base.

After Devils Tower, around dusk, we headed to SD to our hotel. We got to see a porcupine on the way out, along with a ton of deer along the highway.

In His Shoes
Credits: QP by Loloden

Journaling reads:

Adrianna LOVES shoes. Red sparkly shoes, shoes that light up, ballet slippers, rain boots, snow boots, flip-flops; you name it she loves it.. But when she tried on Daddy’s shoes, sans pants, I just had to snap a picture because she was just absolutely adorable and I couldn’t stop laughing.

Mount Rushmore

Journaling reads:

The next day of our South Dakota vacation, we visited Mount Rushmore. We enjoyed the beauty of the black hills and walked the entire length of the path.

Other than the fact that we had a very grouchy and defiant girl with us (due to no nap and very little sleep the night before), we had a good time. Somehow we were even able to coax a few smiles out of her. I am sure bribing was involved, or perhaps the reminder that her grandparents really like to see her picture and also how much fun Adrianna has seeing her pictures on our computer too.

Mount Rushmore

Journaling reads:

Towards the end of our time at Mount Rushmore, we also visited the amphitheatre at Adrianna’s request. To her delight, there was another little girl running around. Adrianna went right up to her and told her, “My name is Adrianna.” They quickly became friends and chased each other (and chipmunks) and enjoyed much little-girlish screaming as well. The little girl’s name is Majestic. She was five and visiting from North Dakota.

Storybook Island
Credits: GDS “Puddles of Play” Collab Kit

Journaling reads:

Another place we visited on our South Dakota trip was a free
attraction called Storybook Island. It consists of a park with a lot of fun things for kids to do based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

They had a little “train” for the kids to ride. Because it was for children only, we couldn’t ride with Adrianna. At first, she was a little nervous that we wouldn’t be riding with her (and so was her Mommy!), but she quickly became acclimated to the idea.

I was struck at how quickly my little girl is growing up as I watched her bravely go on the ride without me. She had fun turning the steering wheel and waving her little hand at passersby.

Can you see Greg posing in the picture with the castle? When I snapped the shot, my goal was to catch Adrianna with the castle in the background of the picture. I didn’t even notice Greg in the shot, making the funny pose, until I lowered the camera.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Journaling reads:

On August 17th, we visited the South Dakota Badlands. They are AMAZING. One of the most beautiful and awesome places that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

We enjoyed walking some of the easy and moderate trails. Adrianna helped us keep a look out for rattlesnakes and pretty rocks. We found lots of pretty rocks but, thankfully, no rattlesnakes.

Adrianna very much enjoyed playing in the dirt. She kept a running dialogue about how she was “doing her homework” and didn’t want to leave. She talked about this “homework” a lot afterward, concerned that others would ruin it and insisting that we return the following day so she could “finish her homework.”

Badlands National Park

Journaling reads:

Greg found a large crack in the landscape and decided he wanted to take some silly pics of himself climbing out of it. So then, of course, Adrianna had to crawl into the crack for her picture after seeing her Daddy do it. You can see her gesturing to me to take her picture from another angle like I did for Greg’s.

Black Hills, SD

Journaling reads:

After about 5 hours in the Badlands National Park, we were exhausted. It didn’t take long for Adrianna to fall asleep.

The following day, We had plenty of time before heading home, so we made a stop in Keystone to walk the boardwalk, do the touristy thing, and have lunch.

At Nana and Grandpa's

Journaling reads:

On our way home from our SD vacation, we stayed the night with my parents. Our dogs were thrilled to see us again.

Adrianna had a good time playing “crocodiles” and with the castles with Nana. Now, whenever we visit, the first thing Adrianna does is pull out the castles and Little People and she is always thrilled when Nana plays with her.

We also spent some time on the trampoline and ended the evening with a beautiful Wyoming sunset.

Adrianna and Friends
Credits: QP by Dawn Knapp, WordArt by Tracey Anderson

Journaling reads:

Adrianna went through a phase where she wanted every one of her stuffed animal friends in bed with her. I am not sure how she could sleep or even move around.

Gracie Girl
Credits: Scrap Journal Collab Kit

Journaling reads:

Ben Folds has a song called “Gracie” that he wrote for his daughter. It is a sweet song and we introduced it to Adrianna, telling her that she was OUR Gracie Girl. Adrianna fell in love with the song too and requests it often. Lately, she has started putting on a pair of sunglasses and her necklaces (or a feather boa) and when she is in this get-up, she tells me that she is Gracie Girl.

Free Template #38

It has been way too long since I have given away a freebie on here, so how about a multiple photo template? This template can accommodate up to 11 photos or you can replace some of the photo layers with embellishments or papers.

You can click on the image to be brought to my no-wait freebie download page.

The template is a 12×12 layered PSD file, designed at 3600 PPI. I am also including a zip file that contains just the PNGs for those of you using apps other than Photoshop. 🙂

Hope you enjoy the template.

Store Changes

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past month, and it is with a very heavy heart that I am resigning my designer position at GDS. I don’t make this decision lightly and I have been agonizing over it, but given my current situation (stress over infertility issues and my job situation as we go through a merger), I am trying to simplify my life a bit. Plus, I really need some more time to work on my own layouts, as I have really been falling behind!

I am totally committed to and will definitely finish out this month’s multi-photo challenge there.  I will probably stick around the community there as a member, as I think GDS is a wonderful place to be, which is just one more reason why it made this decision so very hard for me.

Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to play my Multi-photo challenges and support me over there. You guys are so awesome and one of my favorite things is seeing the wonderful layouts you create. I am thinking about continuing some sort of multi-photo challenge here next month and hope to start offering up some more freebies next month too. 🙂