It’s the most wonderful time of the year

snowmanfun

(My brother and I having some winter fun some 25-odd years ago.)

I hear that a lot about this time of year.  Then again, I hear the exact opposite as well.

Two years ago, I would have been listening to holiday music by now.  For over a month if not more.  I would have been picking out cookie recipes, deciding what things I’d want to make for each dinner we’d be invited to, and having a list of gift ideas for each person in my life.  And I would do it all with mania that most people would want to smack out of me.

This year, I’m just sort of ho hum about it all.  I’m not dreading it, but I’m not looking forward to it.  And I haven’t listened to one song yet, even though I am singing holiday music at a few different places this year.

I don’t know if it’s that my kids are older and not as excited about toys and surprises as they used to be, or if I’m just living a little more simply and am not looking forward to “stuff.”  Or maybe I’m cynical.

Or maybe it’s that I’m just looking forward to some days with my family.  Not the stuff, or even the food, but just the time.  I’m looking forward to music, but also loving still discovering new music again just for fun, which I haven’t done in years.  Maybe I’m letting go of things and not feeling as pressured to do what everyone else is doing.

Or maybe I’m depressed.

Either way, I’m not feeling as gung ho about everything, but i’m okay with that.  I’m just going to enjoy the time I have with my kiddos and hubby and family, including these felines, and process.  It’s okay to sit with what I”m learning and work through things.  I’m hoping to love more and stress less.

For today, that is enough.

Changes Afoot

I love the word afoot.

There are big changes coming in the lives of our little family.  A lot of stuff has happened in the last 3 months that I just haven’t been able to keep up with.  Some of them are good, some of them are not my favorite, and some of them just have to be dealt with.  And so it goes.

First and probably most shocking is that I will be retiring from scrapbook design on June 20th.  Both of my stores will close at end of business that day, and then I’m hanging up my hat.  With the other things that have been going on in our world, I just don’t have the time to do it all and my creativity feels like it’s missing in action.  So, after a lot of tears and conversations with le hubs in figuring out what’s to happen, this was the decision we came to.  I’m okay with it now.  Sort of.

I got a part time job at the local library to get me out of the house once in a while, which is a good thing.  I love the work there and the people, and well – books.  I don’t need to say anything more.

Chris also has a new job that he’s just starting.  He likes it a lot, but it is far away.  It’s a big opportunity for our family though, with lots of room for advancement for him as well.  Thankful, but a little stressful as we are a one vehicle family, so that means transport for Peanut and I is at a premium.  We’re working it out.

Peanut has had several injuries in softball this year, to the point of going this week to have an MRI and an MRA.  It will be interesting to see what things occur.  So far, so good, but whew – it’s been stressful.  However, she ROCKS – everyone is shocked at how much she’s progressed this year, but I don’t think anyone is as proud as I am.  It’s pretty darn amazing.  I’ll post pictures soon!

I’ll be better at keeping up here as I won’t be so sick of being on the computer any more!  Hope everyone is well!

blog_hop_banner

Blog Hop Day 2

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Welcome to the Gotta Pixel blog hop!  You’ll be able to hop from place to place, blog to blog, and collect this beautiful collection by the time you’re finished up!

GP_small_wonders_bloghop

You’re probably here from Blueheart’s blog – welcome! Here’s my part of the hop – two fun templates for you to play with.  They coordinate perfectly with the rest of the collection.

ckaye_smallwonders_web

Click here to download

Don’t forget to visit every site to collect the entire kit.  You’ll go to Chrissy’s blog next!

Previous Stop — Home — Next Stop

Share this link with your friends – the more the merrier!🙂

blog_hop_banner

It’s Blog Hop Time!

blog_hop_banner

Welcome to the Gotta Pixel blog hop!  You’ll be able to hop from place to place, blog to blog, and collect this beautiful collection by the time you’re finished up!

GP_small_wonders_bloghop

You’re probably here from Blueheart’s blog – welcome! Here’s my part of the hop – two fun templates for you to play with.  They coordinate perfectly with the rest of the collection.

ckaye_smallwonders_web

Click here to download

Don’t forget to visit every site to collect the entire kit.  You’ll go to Chrissy’s blog next!

Previous Stop — Home — Next Stop

Share this link with your friends – the more the merrier!🙂

What are you reading?

I have a love/hate relationship with books.  It’s weird to describe it as that, because I really don’t hate books at ALL.  But my brain gets all twisted up in a book and it’s difficult to explain.  I shall attempt.

When I love a book, I *love* a book.  I live with it, the characters become real, I want to move to the place where the book takes place.  Putting it down is somewhat akin to someone dying.  It is difficult for me to walk away and choose something new to read.  It feels like a betrayal.

I’ve been known to read a brand new book, finish it, and go right back to page 1 and start all over again.  I did with this book.

 

I have no regrets, either.  Still one of my top books of all time.  Then again, I love Nora.  She and I could totally be BFFs if she knew I existed.  I’ve never read a book of hers I didn’t love.

I also get into trouble if I start a series of books before all of the books are released.  It does not make me a happy camper to have to wait a year or more for a book to come and fulfill my need for closure.  The Harry Potter books just about killed me.  I was there at midnight the day of the release of every book from Goblet of Fire on waiting for my copy.  I’m not ashamed.  In fact, I sort of miss those days.  I’m also waiting impatiently for John Stephens The Black Reckoning (doesn’t have a link yet) and Kiera Kass’s The One.  Not very patiently, either.

When the time comes that I finish a book, it is difficult for me to pick up something I’ve never read before.  It’s like entering into a new relationship.  I don’t know how I’m going to be treated or how things are going to end; how tied up my emotions are going to be or if I’m going to be bored or thrilled.  It’s just HARD to invest myself.  I often end up going back to read something that I know I love already.  Not always, but a lot.

Maybe I’m just super weird.

However, when I really get into a book, you can barely get me to surface.  This is another pro and con at once.  The pro is that I read fast and plow through books.  The cons are that it takes a Mac truck to get me out of the book, and that I read fast and plow through the book.  That makes me sad.

So, these are what I’ve been reading and/or eyeing lately.

 

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.  Reading the books, and loving them.  I’ve watched the series from HBO, and I love the series, but the books are even better.  The one thing I can say about seeing the show first is that I know how to say their names in my head now.  That does help.

 

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  This series has people who either LOVE it or hate, hate, hate it.  You know that I can’t wait to dive into it.  I’ve got it for my Nook, but haven’t started yet, since I’m currently in the middle of 4800 pages of GOT.  I hear that the audiobooks for these are excellent as well, but I don’t think my public library has them, which is a bummer.  I won’t buy them until I listen to them first.  I’m so cheap.

 

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts.  I’ve read this at least twice, maybe three times, but I have it going on the side of GOT right now.  Again.  And I’m not sorry.  I love that there’s a male lead in this book (a lot of hers are female), and that he’s so human – not perfect.  I dig it.  Plus, he loves his grandma.

 

Into the Mists by Serene Conneeley.  I won this book during the book launch of Lucy Cavendish‘s new book, Spellbound, which I also love and is sitting beside me.  I haven’t started Serene’s book yet, but it’s sitting on my headboard with a pretty bookmark waiting for me to dive in.  It’s one that I almost am putting off reading because I want to wiggle down and relish in it, and right now life is a little crazy to be wiggling into a book.  I might surprise myself and pick it up this weekend during the impending snow storm #9172364532 for this winter, though.

What are you reading?  Care to weigh in and add to my list?  I’d love to have personal reviews!!

xoxo

Kick it up a notch!

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Emeril.  He used to be one of my favorites on the Food Network, and he used to say “kick it up a notch.”  I’ve always liked that concept about my cooking and about other things in life as well.  Here are some ways I’ve been loving to kick things up a notch.  It’s good for you!

1.  Sandwich

Have you ever noticed that a sandwich at Subway is like a million times better than the one at home?  I’ve figured out that there’s a few reasons why.  The bread is a big one – cheap generic white bread is not going to cut it.  Fresh ingredients also are a big deal.  But you know what does it for me?  Salt & pepper.  A little salt & pepper on my sandwich makes a huge difference for me.  (I mean, not like on your pb & banana sandwich or anything, but on savory blends, this is a good trick.)  Try it next time.  You’ll be surprised.

2.  Fancy creamer

You can even get generic fancy creamer and it tastes very good.  And you don’t have to be a coffee drinker.  Do you realize how good tea is for you?  And a tiny splash of creamer in your tea?  Heaven in a mug, people.  Heaven in a mug.

3.  A good pen

I don’t mean a fountain pen or something like that, although if that’s your thing all the more power to you.  I just mean a good, smooth pen.  I love the new InkJoy pens – they are smooth without being smeary or runny, and they work great on a lot of difference surfaces.  Chris always goes for a G2 pen, which aren’t bad either.

4.  Glasses

Not reading glasses (although I have some fun red ones), but wine glasses.  Even if you don’t drink wine, or if (like me) you drink inexpensive wine because that’s what fits in your budget, some nice glasses are a nice touch.  Know why?  They look pretty.  Make you feel a little fancy.  And can be used over and over and over again with whatever you’re drinking – from water to champagne to milk.   I love these from Crate & Barrel.

5.  Printable fun accent stuff

This could also be known as “digital scrapbooking supplies.”  The coolest thing about these products are that you can print what you need and use it anywhere – a scrapbook, a letter, the outside of an envelope, modge podge it onto your phone case, put it on a boring notebook for journaling, anything you want.  You can also make full scrapbooks on your computer and then have them printed out for you – all with no mess, no glue, and no having to go repurchase the supplies because you don’t have enough of that printed paper you’ve been wanting.  You can check out my store here – and here’s one of my favorite pages that I’ve made digitally.

I’d love to know how you kick it up a notch.  Tell me some of your favorites here in the comments, and I’ll draw a winner for a $10 coupon to my store for you to shop for some fun digital embellishments to use on your everyday stuff!  Comments will be closed on Friday, February 7th, 2014 at midnight EST.  I’ll post a winner on Saturday!

Thanks for stopping by!🙂 xoxo

Some things I currently love

Some days I have deep thoughts.  Sometimes those deep thoughts wrap around my neck and strangle me because I can’t let things go.

It’s an OCD thing.

(Remember when I did digital scrapbooking design and my design name was OCD – Oh Chere Designs, and then I did an interview on the digi scrap radio thing and they called me Sherry Oh?  Those were good days.  I digress.)

Today was not one of those days with the deep thoughts that strangle me.  I did think a lot about some of the things I’m really loving right now, though, and there’s a specific reason why (that’s a little bit deep).

I’ve been thinking about these things because I need to take care of myself better.  I do a horrible job of it.  I can’t seem to achieve balance in this area at all.  It’s been a struggle for years, and even nearing the ripe old age of *coughcoughfortycoughcough*, I still have a tough time with this.  Things like relaxing with a cup of tea, or taking a hot bath, or painting my nails if I want.  They’re not expensive or extravagant, but I *need* them to maintain some sanity.

So.

Here are some things that I have been digging as of late.  Of course, I am not getting paid to say any of this stuff (but wouldn’t that be nice?), these are just my opinions.  Thank goodness I have a place that no one visits where I can share these thoughts!  *wink* (photos are linked)

1.  Flower Cosmetics, specifically, their nail polish.

 

I love these colors.  I love how it goes on thin but not so thin that it doesn’t coat.  It stays on well without chipping, and it comes off when the time is right and doesn’t stain my nails.  I have a board on Pinterest that I’ve been pinning some nail art things to try, and have accomplished a few, which leads me to number 2:

2.  Star and heart nail art pieces.

 

So, you get these little things and after you paint your nails while they’re still wet, you place one on each fingernail (or just one), and then paint over with top coat when it’s dry.  Tada.  And it’s fun!!

3.   This super soft yarn.

 

I’ve been using it to make a gift for someone special these last few days, and it’s SO soft and easy to work with.  I’ll share some details about said knitting project in the days to come.  ‘Tis good stuff, though.

4.  My Nook.

 

I love this thing.  I have 2000 books on my nook – a lot of classics that are fun to reread, and a great deal of books that I’ve gotten and not started yet.  It’s so great to have them all in hand when I’m looking for something to read, and it stays charged forever.  Thank goodness for the library!

Those are the top on my list right now, not counting my people.  I try to take a few moments to take care of me in there somewhere.  I didn’t list the tea, or my favorite blanket, or my kittens.  Maybe those will make the next list😉

Hope you are all staying warm and safe in this crazy weather that’s coming.  xoxo