Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

I noticed a lot of fellow bloggers blogging about their Top 10 events, projects and other things but I came across Jeremy's blog and liked his take on the Year in Review. He's a cool dude {probably young enough to be my kid!} who is a talented scrapbooker and story teller. 

Anyhow, thanks Jeremy for the inspiration. Here's my take on the Year 2010 in Review:

January brought a box of vintage photos and albums of my grandmother and her ancestors. My cousin is now organizing them all online for our extended family to see and enjoy. What treasures!

February brought our camping trailer. Say goodbye to nights freezing in our tent and hello to an extended camping season!

 February also brought me a new brother-in-law when my sister got married on Valentine's Day.

March brought my first delve into the world of digital scrapbooking. Great, that's all I need is a new outlet of scrapbooking!

 April was the only thing that took away; Darren's braces that is. ;-P

 May brought Darren closer to God with his holy communion. It was a moment we were proud to share since I was Darren's CCD teacher this year.

June brought me past a personal goal of mine I had set this year: I ran a half marathon! I couldn't have done it without the support of my partner-in-crime, Ginger.

July brought the first day of school. How did my kid end up in 3rd grade already?

August brought us our annual moms and kids only camping trip of the year that Ginger and I probably would rather forget but would probably still do again. What? No BBQ gas connector?

September brought me a sprained ankle on the day of Darren's 9th birthday party and an end to my hopes of doing the SF Metro Dash. :-(

October brought another moms and kids only trip to Disneyland.

November brought a trip to North Lake Tahoe for some much needed R&R.

December hasn't brought my 2 incoming nephews yet but here's they are in month 4 of my sister's ever-growing belly! Now that is gonna be the highlight of 2011 come April/May!

Happy New Year to you all. Be safe!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December Daily

Yet again, I am behind on my December Daily. This year I am sort of combining inspiration from Ali Edwards but focusing a bit more on the journaling aspect thanks to Shimelle's online class I joined this month. Here's what I have finished so far:


I almost embellished these towels with apothecary labels printed onto fabric sheets and sewed them on with my sewing machine. It made a great gift for a friend.

I loved making them so much I made another set with a different theme for another friend. Thanks again to Cathe at Just Something I Made for the fantastic idea!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Brentwood, CA: My Hometown

Happy holidays everyone! I hope Santa treated you all well! 
My sister reminded me on Christmas Eve that I missed last Tuesday's travel post. Well, at least somebody noticed! 

I decided to choose my hometown in honor of the holidays and the comfort of home. I'm blessed to have both sides of my family living all within an hour's drive. I cringe at the thought of flying this time of year and the blizzards and resulting flight delays. Yes, I consider myself lucky!

Since I don't bake homemade pies like my mother nor did I have the energy to even try during the holidays I brought a seriously yummy apple pie to a friend's house for a holiday party. Now, I am spoiled when it comes to eating pie. I mean, my mother makes the best pies. I cringe at the thought of store-bought pies; but, I do make an exception with Kandee's homemade frozen fruit pies that are sold at Tachella Family Farms and Brentwood Fine Meats.

Brentwood may not be bursting with night life, fine dining or a Coach store but we do have fantastic local farm stands and farmer's market. Brentwood is most known for their corn on the cob {yumm-o!} but they also have cherry-picking in the spring where people literally travel from all over the country to pick their own off the trees.

and this U-pick strawberry field that is literally a mile from my house. Darren loves to pick the strawberries so we end up with 4 pounds of them so we freeze some for later and give some away.

Smith Family Farms in the nearby town of Knightsen is also a fun place to visit in the summer. There are farm animals the kids can see. In the month of October you can go listen to a band play fun clap-along songs with the kids complete with a washboard and a banjo. You also get to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch on the other side of the farm and pick your own pumpkin. There are boatloads of photo opportunities to be had!

I'll be back tomorrow with a little something I made for a friend for Christmas as well as some much-delayed photos of the first week of my December Daily. And no surprise here: I'm behind!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

and so it begins...

...the annual Christmas tin filled with cookies, fudge and whatever else finds its way into my oven.
125 sugar cookies rolled, cut, baked and frosted today in about 5 hours. 

So glad my mom is my helper elf. 
ha ha

I've been baking holiday treats for almost 15 years and giving them to family and friends. What is your holiday tradition?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The "to-do" List

My to-do list is so long that I'm afraid to write it down. Not good!

I've managed to tone things down over the past few years but I still plan to bake holiday cookies and package them up in pretty tins to give to family and friends. It's been my holiday tradition for over 10 years. 

Besides buying gifts, wrapping them, getting out the last half of the family Christmas cards and everything else on my holiday list I also have a craft list. I'm already aware of the fact that not one will get checked off of that list until the end of this week when I have two glorious weeks off for winter break. {One advantage of being a teacher!}

I did manage to copy Jenni Bowlin's November project kit by using my own stash. This is happily hanging on the door of my craft room:

I don't even want to talk about my December Daily at this point. I've managed to build all of my pages but haven't started on December 1st yet. Not good!  

I also want to make some of these:
I came across this from Twig & Thistle's blog. You can just click here for the tutorial and instructions thanks to Family Circle.

Those of you who enjoy creating digital pages like I do should like this from Minitoko's boutique.  Just thought I'd share the love!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Travel Tuesday: inspired by vintage finds

I bought these vintage bulbs at the local vintage store last year at their post-Christmas sale and couldn't wait to display them this year. 

They fit perfect atop my Christmas candle holders that I bought in Germany 14 years ago. And this is what brings me to my Travel Tuesday destination today:

Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg is a walled-in city that took my breath away with it's beauty. We were lucky enough to arrive during the change of seasons so all of the tree leaves were vibrant shades of red and orange.

We stayed at a hotel that was 600-years old. The wood-beamed ceilings and stone walls in the entry were so rustic it felt like I was taken back to the time it was built. This photo shows the entrance to our hotel. Can I tell you how much I love cobblestone roads?

One of the first stops my sister and I made {yes, we're women...of course we're going to shop!} we went to the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas store


This store made my jaw drop to the floor. Seriously. I bought 2 dozen beautiful ornaments along with my candle holders and a few gifts for Christmas and they shipped everything home directly. You gotta love it. 

My tree is still adorned with the ornaments I bought there by half thanks to my then-kitten, Bocce, who decided he wanted to climb the live tree I had in my apartment at the time and caused the tree to come tumbling down. :-(

What do you have displayed in your home that you bought in a far-off place?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All You Need is Now

Calling all 80's fans:

Remember Duran Duran? Yeah, Duran Duran! Simon Le Bon, John Taylor...need I go on?

They have a new single out called, "All You Need is Now" and you can download it for free
on iTunes here.

What are you waiting for? It's free! Go! :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Muir Woods

 Before I start on Travel Tuesday can I play catch up from Saturday?

Ginger and I spent the day here in Berkeley window shopping and working on this at Scrapbook Territory:

We were first admiring these last winter when KL had this Tannenbaum project for sale through her Kenner Road website. She brought it back in a slightly different form for last October's Silver Bella and Ginger and I were all twitterpated about making one. We basically had all of the supplies but for the jello mold which we picked up at the Vintage House here in town.  I don't know how KL dreams up these things but this is by far the most adorable thing ever!

OK - so now on to Travel Tuesday: Muir Woods

It's all about something local here in the Bay Area. 
I swear I will never move out of the Bay Area as long as I live. Within a 4 hour drive you can reach Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Napa and Carmel. How can you beat that?

Muir Woods is a national monument just north of San Francisco in Marin County. You get to enjoy the infamous scenic drive up Highway 1 before reaching the entrance. 

The coastal redwoods are awe-inspiring and almost hard to believe that it is located only 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bustling city of San Francisco.

The paved trail is very people-friendly and the self-guided tour allows you to wander at your own pace. There are 6 miles of trails if you are in the mood for a bit more of a workout.

I had a friend visit from the East Coast last year and I took her here as well as Stinson Beach up the road. Here are a few photos I took:

This is from a lookout point off of Highway 1:

If this place doesn't make you a nature lover, I don't know what will!

On a final note, I celebrated my birthday on Monday and enjoyed a lovely dinner with my family and my parents. Here's a photo of my favorite drink: the lemon drop. Mmmm!