Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Party Treats

Happy Halloween!  I have to be honest....Halloween is not high on my list of favorite holidays.  I have nothing against it, I just don't get into all the dressing up.  I do however love seeing what other people come up with. My friend Megan from The House of Martinez adores the holiday and always comes up with great costume ideas.  You should really sneak over to her blog and see what she came up with this year.  In addition to her and her husband's costumes, she is showcasing some other fabulous costumes that they saw over the weekend.

I got a bit off track....the purpose of my post was to show you the treats that I made for the Fall Party at Zach's school.  As I was working on them, I realized this was probably the last time that I would do this for him - and I admit, I got a little choked up.  He has been at the same little private school since he started Kindergarten.  I have done some kind of Halloween treat every year that he has been there.  But next year, things will be different - he will be in public school and JUNIOR HIGH - GULP!!!  He says that he really likes it when I do treats for the class, but I have a sneaky suspicion that come next year, what he once thought was a neat thing that his mom did, will overnight become embarassing and uncool.

Before I share the pictures, I have to give credit where credit is due.  I saw this idea over at The Johanson Journey.  Janette and I had different decorating ideas for our jars, but she was definitely my inspiration.

The little jars came from the wedding aisle at Michael's.  I was lucky enough to nab them with 40% off coupon which I think brought them down to about $12 for 20.  The stickers on the top of the jars, the Halloween paper as well as the ribbon also came from Michael's and the Martha Stewart collection.

Fall Party favors...basket from Hobby Lobby
Little sign I made for the basket
Taken from the back - jars are upside down, but wanted to show the lids
Circled the bottom of the jars with festive ribbon and filled the jars with fall colored M&Ms
There you have it....cute treat jars with minimal effort.  They can easily be changed up to celebrate any special event or holiday.  Have a great day and beware of the ghosts and goblins this evening!

Friday, October 26, 2012

In Focus Friday: October Edition

It is the last Friday of the month and that means In Focus Friday with Kaeley from My Mind's Lens.

I found Kaeley's blog through the short lived Sunday Snaps link up.  I loved her work from the first moment I visited her blog.  As most of you may know, when I find a great photographer - my freak flag, it a starts a waving.  Kaeley may be a bit on the beginner side, but I can see really great things in her future and I think that you will agree.  She has an eye and a heart for photography and I think that it shines through in her work.  I am honored to have her contributing here and I hope that you will enjoy the monthy sampling of her work as well as some great photography tips.
I want to start by saying how grateful I am to my wonderful host, Julie!  Her kind words about my photography over the last couple of months have been so encouraging.  When she asked me to be a contributor on her blog, I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  It is something I have never done before - but I am excited to be here!

Being what I consider to be an amateur photographer, I know it can be frustrating sometimes when you can't get the photo you want or are struggling to find inspiration.  One thing I have recently found is that sometimes we try too hard to think outside the box and find something "new and exciting" to photograph, and we miss the subjects and environments that are right in front of us.  This is something that I have put a lot of consideration into lately and have been trying to see the beauty that surrounds me in everyday situations.

When visiting my home town awhile back, I decided to go out with my camera and see what I could find.  This is the place I lived for over 15 years - the majority of my life.  So it may sound difficult to find something "new and exciting" there.  However, there is a ferry that runs from a dock about 10 minutes from town, across the Columbia River, to a small Washington town.

Here are some of the shots that I took there:


It is easy to "play it safe" and just walk around shooting whatever you see.  But don't be afraid to try looking at your subject from a different perspective - get high or low, try fading the background or playing with the coloring during processing.  You might be surprised with what you can come up with.



This cute little boy and his grandma were walking around while waiting for the ferry.  (Another tip: people can be art!!)

If you haven't figured it out already - I am a BIG fan of black and white . . . more of that to come!

I hope that some of these photos have inspired you to go explore your backyard a little bit!  It really can be a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Repost.....SORRY!

I don't normally repost guest posts that I have done for other blogs, so if you have already read this previously I do apologize.  However, I sometimes think that I put so much pressure on myself when doing a guest post that occasionally something that I really love ends up somewhere other than my own blog.   I was thrilled to help Nicole out, but I also wanted to have record of this here as well.  So like I said, for those of you that have alread seen it, please come back tomorrow for some fresh content.

When I first started blogging, I really didn't give much thought to the actual social aspect of the blogging community.  I did give it a lot of consideration as far as whether I really wanted to jump in and commit to a blog, but further than that, I was clueless.  However, the longer that I blogged and the more I put myself out there, I started meeting some truly incredible women.  Warm , kind, compassionate, giving women who truly care.  Some I have been oh so fortunate to meet and others that I have only corresponded with via blog comments and emails.  No matter what avenue, I feel like I have been blessed in ways that never would have happened had it not been for starting my little ole blog.

On the flip side of this butterlies and rainbows commentary there lies the storms and mayhem.  Because let's be honest, there is a flip side to EVERY story.  I truly believe that as bloggers we have a responsibilty to be courteous to one another.  I am not naive enough to believe that just because we all have blogging in common that we will all mesh like two peas in a pod.  Some bloggers we are going to be drawn to for whatever reason and others are not going to be our cup of tea.  That is normal and completely expected.  In the past few weeks three blogs that I read pretty religously have done posts on fellow bloggers lashing out at them for decisions that they have made and posted about on their own blogs.  I don't know about you guys, but my blog is MY place to post what I am feeling  and sometimes where I go to get something off my chest.  As bloggers, we do open ourselves up and put it all out there - some people more than others.  I don't, however feel that gives people the right to make cruel remarks or pass judgement.  If you are truly offended by something that someone has written, walk away.  Choose to no longer follow that particular blog.   If you disagree with a choice that someone has made and you feel that strongly about it, you could privately email them and RESPECTFULLY state your opinion or again, just walk away....after all, there are plenty of blogs in the sea!  There is quite a bit of merit in that old saying "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".  I guess what I am trying to say is let's respect and support each other and not choose to tear each other down.  We as women need to be better than that.....we ARE better than that!

I love the manifestos from The Smile Collective, and I thought that this one couldn't be more fitting:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting

Happy Wednesday!  Since my first Oh So Pinteresting link up was so much I go again.  I am linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple:

My mind wanders multiple times a day occasionally and when I am in a daydreaming kind of mood, I think about all the places that I would like to experience if I ever won the lottery. Of course my odds of winning would be at least slightly increased if I actually played...details, details!

Paris, France

Koln, Germany
Sydney, Australia


Madrid, Spain

Macho Bay - St. John, Virgin Islands National Park
Arches National Park, UT

How is that for a little morning TRAVEL eye candy?!?!? ***SIGH!*** If only...thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Running Update

TGIF!  I don't know about you, but I am ready for this weekend.  I worked out of town all last weekend, so I am more than ready for a couple of days off.  No big plans, just looking forward to a little down time.
My 5K is one week from tomorrow.  Thank you to all of you that have given me kind words and major support over the last few months.  It has truly meant the world to me!  I wanted to give you an update and a realistic picture of the expectations for the race.  As most of you know, the last couple weeks of the Couch Potato to 5K training program I was battling major "tingly" feet.  Up to that point I had had no pain at all.  I was feeling confident and pretty amazed that I was progressing through the program.  I continued to run....the stubborn streak in me refusing to give up.  I decided to maybe give new shoes a try as I knew that I had not been running in traditional running shoes.  I went to a running store and was properly fitted.  I felt very confident that I was sporting a great pair of shoes.  Fast forward to the next evening.  I went out for my final run in the C25K program and much to my dismay my feet were worse than ever.  I was close to tears because of the frustration.  I was just baffled!  The next morning when I woke up, I could hardly get out of bed, my back was so sore.
A few people mentioned that they thought it may have nothing to do with my feet and may in fact be a nerve issue.  With as much pain as I was in, I gave in and visited the chiropractor.  I had two adjustments in a four day period and he told me when I saw even the least bit of improvement I could hit the trails again.  I ended up resting my back for almost two weeks.  There was improvement, but it was far from right.  Wednesday night, I laced up my shoes and headed out with high hopes.  Now mind you, even though I did complete the TIMED C25K program, when I got to the end I was only completing two miles running.   Anyway, just to keep myself on track I used the last workout and had it to guide me through my run.  I finished the workout...running just shy of 2 miles - wait for it.....WITH NO FEET TINGLING!!!!!  But (because there always is one), Thursday morning I was hobbling from, you guessed it - back pain.  On the plus side, I am now certain that it is a back issue and not my feet.
As far as the race goes, I am determined to participate.  I am registered and I have friends that have signed up to support me as well.  Will, it be the 5K that I envisioned for myself?  Sadly, I do not think that it is in the cards for me (at least not this time).  I am going to attempt to at least run a portion, but I am definitely going to listen to my body and let it be my guide.  I am sad and frustrated...I can't tell you all how badly I wanted this.  I am going to talk to my doctor and see if he thinks that is something that I am going to be able to work through or if I am not cut out to run.  I don't want to hear, or believe that but I also don't want to end up doing irrepairable damage to my back. 
Sorry that I rambled, but I thought that I owed it to all of you that were cheering me on to let you know what was going on with me.  What do you guys think?  Are some people just not cut out to run?  I would love to know what you think.

 Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories: October Edition

I am excited to be sharing a contributor post with you today from Katie @ Katie Stories.  Katie will be sharing a post each month on the third Thursday.  Today, Katie is showcasing one of her two page scrapbook layouts.  This is one of the things that I love about Katie's scrapbooking...she loves to use a lot of pictures, just like I do.  I hope that you enjoy her post and make sure you stop by her is chock full of her crafty goodness...and don't forget to tell her I sent you!


Hi everyone!

I'm so excited for my first contributor post here at A Beautiful Day!

Today I'm going to share a two page layout I created about our visit home to New York for Labor Day. I had a ton of pictures from the weekend, so I decided to scrap lift this page that I made about our move to Chicago (which I based on a sketch in the August 2011 Scrapbooks, Etc. - I really miss that magazine so very much!)

It always amazes me how much a layout can change based on the pictures and papers you use. In fact, I'm going to scrap lift this layout one more time to create a page about my July visit to New York. Its quickly becoming a favorite of mine to fit in lots of photos!

Over Labor Day Weekend, AJ and I flew home to NY. Of course, we both had to work Fri. so we got in late, but went right out east (thanks to the Vinny van). Tommy and Jamie came out east too - it really was a party! We had a wine tasting of local wines, kayaked, enjoyed the pool, BBQ-ed, sat around the fire, toured the neighborhood, went to Boardy Barn and enjoyed the end of summer as a family!

I have to say, I am really proud of myself for using this paper. I got it in the Jillibean Soup Mystery Box. Normally, I'd totally hoard that, but I decided to just jump in and use it! I am so happy that I can enjoy the paper now, instead of it being all locked up in a box!

The white flowered paper is Jillibean Soup, as are those pretty orange letters - all from the Mystery Box. The yellow paper was in my stash, and the green polka dot washi tape is one of my newest treats from Michaels! It was buy one, get one free, how could I pass that up?!

Well, that's it for me today! I'll be back next month with another layout. Until then, I'd love to see your layouts featuring lots of pictures! Let me know where I can check them out and I'll be sure to stop by and see them :)

Oh, I almost forgot....I am guest posting today over at Naturally Fit Sisters.  Brittany and Cassey are super sweet ladies and I am honored that they are allowing me to take over their blog for the day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Posting at Three 31

I can't apologize day of blog silence turned into a week plus of blog silence.  Shame on me!  Things have been hectic to infinity and I am sure that most of you know and have experienced, sometimes things just snowball out of control and you are helpless to do anything but ride it out.  Anyway, I am hoping to do better.

Unfortunately, expect for this brief little message I am going to ignore this little blog for one more day, but only because I am helping a friend out.  Nicole, of  Three 31,  is currently on a mission trip in Haiti, she reached out and asked for some guest posters while she was gone.  If you remember, Nicole has been around these parts could you possibly forget this post.  It was chock full of Nicole's signature wit and a whole buncha eye candy.  Not to mention it had more page views than any post (by hundreds) than I have ever written - thanks for the traffic my witty friend!  So click here and check out my post.  Say hello, and if you aren't already following Nicole, jump on the bandwagon - you won't regret it

Check back tomorrow for Katie's  first contibutor post.  She has been scrapping and I can't wait to share what she has been up to!  Thank you guys for sticking with me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blog Day of Silence

I was preparing to do a fun Wednesday Pinterest link up post like I did last week.  I of course got sidetracked like I do and stumbled upon the tragedy that struck the Turner family Saturday evening. 

I do not know the Turners nor had I ever visited their blog before now.  However, I can tell you that Julee and her sweet little girl Preslee are being lifted up in prayer and supported by people all across the blog world...friends, family and strangers alike.  That is one of the wonderful things about the blogging community - we come together to support those in need.

Some of Julee's friends have designated tomorrow as a Blog Day of Silence.   In the time that you would normally blog, pray for Julee (and sweet Preslee) - her husband's funeral is Wednesday.  Pray for all those that have lost a loved one in the last year.  And most importantly make sure those near and dear to you know how important they are....tell them that you love them, hold them extra tight and don't ever take the time you have with them for granted.  Life is so short!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I've Been Sidelined

For those of you that didn't see me on Facebook or Instagram last night, the run did not go well.  When the tingles started at right around mile one I was pretty much in tears....not so much out of pain, but out of frustration.  But push on I did.  I ran for 35 minutes straight completed two miles and FINISHED the Couch Potato to 5K training program.  I could look at it two ways: 1) FAILURE because I am obviously not yet able to complete a 5K or 2) SUCCESS because nine weeks ago I could not even run a quarter of a mile.  I am going to go with the "glass is half full" approach and say SUCCESS!  To go from not being able to run to two miles (albeit slow) is nothing to sneeze about.

Last night after more internet research and feeback from friends on both FB and Instagram (yep, I'm talking about you Kristen, Judy and Donni) I started to think that maybe I was having some nerve issues and perhaps it wasn't the shoes after all.  My back was seriously sore when I got home and when I tried to get out of bed this morning well, IT WAS NOT PRETTY!

It was strongly recommended that I see a this morning that is where I headed.  I have never been to a chiropractor before and wasn't sure what to expect.  The noises that my back and hips made freaked me out AND it really kinda hurt.  But for not crying like a girl being brave I was rewarded with light heat and then a cold compress on my back while lying on this fantabulous massaging table.  I have been warned that I will be sore tomorrow, but the funniest doc alive is pretty darn confident that he can make me right again.  I have to go back on Monday and I have been sidelined from running until I am at least 70% better.

Where does that leave me as far as the October 27th 5K?  Well,  I am not giving up or accepting defeat at this point...I have worked way too hard for that.    I am going to rest as the good doc prescribed and keep my fingers crossed that by the end of next week I am cleared to give it a go.  I will do the race regardless...whether it is the 5K that I envisioned remains to be seen.  Thank you to each and every one of you that has given me great advice, cheered me on and motivated me when I just wanted to give up.  In the words of the very awesome Cyn Knight at The Chunky Goddess, "You ROCK balls!!!!"  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cross 'Em, PLEASE

This may sound silly, but I need everyone crossing their fingers, toes, eyes...really whatever you can cross.  My last three Couch Potato to 5K workouts have been seriously rough.  At about 1 to 1.5 miles my feet have been getting "tingly" - the only way I know to describe it is to tell you that they feel like they are asleep.  Not a great feeling when you are trying to run.  So pretty much I hit about 2 miles and I can't go any further.  I have been completing the workouts based on the time, but have not made any progress as far as distance.

Tonight is the last workout in the C25K training program and honestly, I am SCARED!  In just over 3 weeks, I have to increase my distance by over a mile....GULP!!!!  I hope that these babies are going to help me accomplish that:

I found out that I was running in cross trainers - huge mistake!  Although up until about two and a half weeks ago, I did not have one bit of trouble with them.  My knees didn't hurt, my shins didn't hurt and up until I developed "tingly feet", they did hurt either.  I went to The Runner in Arlington.  If you are in the area and are in the market for running shoes or gear, definitely check them out.  They are very knowledgeable and went above and beyond to make sure that I got a great fit.  The owner even gave me a 30 day exchange option in case they don't work out, cause girlfriend can't make another investment like that for awhile.  I am guessing that you can't get a deal like that at the Nike superstore....just sayin'.

Anyway,  if you got it....cross it.  I would really appreciate it!  If they don't work, I am not sure what I will do,but I am not going to think about that right now.  Just thinking positive thoughts.  I will do my best to post a quick update tomorrow, but if you are just dying to know, follow me on Instagram.  The news will hit there first.  Thanks, y'all and have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday

I decided to try something new today....I have been feeling in a bit of a rut lately,  and have seen this Wednesday link up and thought I would give it a go.  I am linking up with Michelle at  The Vintage Apple for:

It is a simple link up....just showcase what you have been pinning lately - what caught your eye.  I guess I should be pinning Halloween/fall decorating inspiration, but hey, I LOVE scanning quote boards and sayings.  Some just cause they are dang funny (example one directly below) and others cause they "make me go hmmmmm". caught me...I SNORTED
Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

So, so true!

Ummm...he is precious!!!!!
Source: Uploaded by user via Pat on Pinterest


That about sums it up

You got that right.....
I can't fib...that was kind of fun.  If you would like to get in on the reindeer games yourself or just want to get a gander at what everyone else is pinning, stop by and visit Michelle at The Vintage Apple.   Happy Hump Day, blog peeps!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The House of Martinez: October Edition

How is it possible that it is October 1st already? Where has this year gone? But with a new season also comes new changes around this little ole first contributor post from Megan at The House of Martinez. She is starting out "First Mondays With Megan" showcasing a quick, but so cute DIY project for a painted wooden necklace. It could be easily color coordinated for any holiday or occasion.

DIY: Painted Wooden Necklace

A simple project with unlimited possibilities in three easy steps!

- cording
- jewelry clasps
- ten wooden beads with pre-drilled holes ( I used 1" beads, but there are various options)
- paint (I used Martha Stewart paints in these colors: Tartan Red, Beach Glass, Deep Sea)
- paintbrush
- painters tape

STEP 1: Eyeball the center of your bead and use the painters tape to wrap the bead horizontally,
making sure the ends meet to allow half of the bead to be exposed for painting.

STEP 2: Paint the exposed part of your bead. I did three coats to ensure coverage all the way
around and let the beads dry dry thoroughly for 10 minutes before removing the tape.

STEP 3: Now it's time to string the beads. Line them up in the order you want them on your necklace and begin stringing, making sure the two colored ends meet each other. Add the clasps to the ends of the cording, clasp, and voila, a colorful necklace in less than half an hour!