Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When you’re at the end of your rope…..

Tie a knot and hang on. I really wish I could break the habit of watching the news, because the things that people are doing just seems to get more and more disturbing. Today I can’t get this story out of my head.

Police: Mom Uses Baby As Weapon To Beat Man
Baby Critically Injured
POSTED: 10:50 am EDT October 9, 2006

ERIE, Pa. -- A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

"The baby was swung at the individual that she was arguing with," Erie 4th Ward District Judge Tom Robie said.

The baby was critically injured in the attack early Sunday, said District Attorney Bradley Foulk.

"Never, never, never. I can never remember anything like this," Foulk told the Erie Times-News.

Chytoria Graham, 27, of Erie, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault. She was held Monday in the Erie County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The infant, whose name and gender were not released, was taken to a hospital in Pittsburgh. Authorities did not identify the hospital, and the baby's condition Monday was not released.

Four other children were removed from the home by child welfare officials, Foulk said. The oldest of those children was 8 years old.

There was no immediate indication whether the man Graham is accused of attacking was the baby's father.

Authorities removed four other children from Graham's home and placed them with the Erie County Office of Children and Youth, Foulk said.

I think it is especially troubling because it seems as each year passes people lose more and more self control and is evidence as to how far people have gotten from God. I know that we all get overwhelmed but to take it out on your children is just wrong. Just last night my daughters and my boyfriend were pulling me in three different directions. I threatened to run away and sat in “time out” in my car. I recovered and went back in the house and resumed life as normal, hoping we have a better day today. One of my favorite quotes is “And this too shall pass” - knowing that I have chance to do things differently and start again each day keeps me hopeful and helps me navigate the hills and valleys of life.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I must be butter, because I am on roll....

Two post in two days, it's been a while since that has happened. I have rededicated myself to my blog and taking time out for me each day. To get around the fact I can't blog at work, I type my thoughts in MS Word, email them to myself, and cut and paste them into a post. They can't keep me down. Anyway, today while surfing the net I found a bit of cool information. The African American Museum of Philadelphia is sponsoring a seminar and photography exhibition in November. I think this would be a great opportunity for me to get some photo tips from the pros. If any of my local friends are interested, here is the information.

Photography 101

Saturday, November 4 ~ 11 a.m.

Learn the basics of photography and capturing the most from a moment. Photographers from the Shootout Exhibition will share inside tips on how to get started in the photography business.

Free with admission

In scrapping news there is so much going on. Just like Dana, I love to shop for new products. Sometimes I get frustrated not using them as quickly as I guess I should, but I like having things at my disposal when I want them. Plus scrapping is my only vice. I don’t drink coffee or sodas everyday, I don’t smoke and I don’t drink that often. So I figure $30-$50 per month on something I really enjoy is well worth it. Anyway there are some really great things on the market.

I found this clock and wine bottle holder at A Cherry on Top, Oh the possibilities. I am really intrigued by the new ‘Thickers” from American Crafts and I think I’ll order some on Wacky Wednesday (just in case they have some other things I want) from A Peek into Yesterday . I recently purchased the Prima Quick Picks and I love them, the colors are great. Right now I am especially in love with the Scenic Route papers – Capetown is top on my list. The weight is good the colors and quality are great and best of all they are double sided, giving you more possibilities. So right now I am truly inspired. I am currently working on my 2006 Race for the Cure album and have challenged myself to have it finished before the end of October. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Might Not Have Blogged, but I have Scrapped!

Hello everyone out there in blogland. Again it has been a while since I have posted, but not much going on blog-worthy. My Girl Scout troop has started. This year I am working with the Brownies and I love it. They are a very energetic group of girls. They enjoy being in the troop which makes it a lot easier. I have a ton of trips and activities planned. The only drawback is that the troop meets on Friday nights (twice a month). It won't be that bad once I get use to it.
My niece is having a baby - this is her first. She has the best ultrasound picture of the baby sucking "her" thumb. My niece would probably kill me for posting this picture but it is too cute not to share. Work is just that - work. I think after Christmas I am going to look for something else, my job is not bad its just not great. My birthday is this month and already the activity planning has begun. My sisters and I are having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and my girlfriend and I are going out to a jazz bar - Zanzibar Blue for Wind-down Wednesdays. I am also going to a fashion show/cabaret this weekend. I plan to party like it's nineteen-ninety-nine, and I am still 29 years old. Here is my most recent work. Shout out to Adrienne and Toya, I love inspiration Wednesdays!!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

We Are Family

I can't believe one of my pictures finally uploaded, Yayyyyyyy!!!!! I have been having so many problems with blogger lately. Anyhow, Thursday, two of my sisters, two of my nieces and my two daughters went on a local cruise up the Delaware River to celebrate my sisters birthday. We had so much fun. We ordered the fiesta table so we had a balloon bouquet and souvenir glasses for everyone. There was an amble buffet and the food was very tasty. The cruise included a live show with people singing Motown classics-somewhat corny, but definitely entertaining. After the live show the dance floor opened up with a Conga line. My daughters had everyone on the cruise laughing when they played "Jump on It" by the Sugar Hill Gang because they did some dance they saw on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My sisters and I danced in all of the line dances including the classic Electric Slide, Cha-Cha Slide, Booty Call and Wild, Wild West. The party continued for three hours and the music didn't stop until the boat docked. We had such a good time, even though almost all of us had to go to work the next day it was worth it. I know my sister had a good time because she was smiling the entire time, plus there were two times she cried (we all are very emotional, LOL). Once when they played "We are family" by Sister Sledge and we all started to sing together and the DJ and dancers came over and sang with us. And secondly when the DJ played Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday" song and we lit her candles and sang to her. I am so glad she had a good time, she deserves it, I love my family.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh I think they like me

**I have pictures I want to share but they won't upload to blogger, I am really thinking about switching to typepad**I scored big "Mom" points this weekend. I took my daughters to their first concert to see Chris Brown and Ne-Yo. I have to admit at first I had reservations. I used to attend a lot of rap concerts when I was (uh-um) younger and I remember the fights that would break out. When my BF and I went to the Battle (NY vs. Philly) with KRS-one, Schoolly-D, Whoudini, Cool C and Steady B just to name a few, the concert had to be stopped until the fights stopped. So needless to say I didn't want to have my girls attend their first concert without me there to keep them safe, especially after I found out Lil' Wayne, Julez Santana and Dem Franchize Boyz were going to be there. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very clean, fun, hyped, party-like atmosphere. We had a real good time. I bought them souvenir t-shirts (there's a story behind that- there were guys selling unlicensed tee shirts in the parking lot. Since this activity is illegal they have a real fast hustle. So one guy walked up to me and flashed a t-shirt the girls wanted. I told him what sizes I wanted and he lifted up his shirt to dig in his oversized jeans and pull the shirts out. Needless to say I passed on those particular shirts, but he definitely gets an "A" for creativity and resourcefulness). The best part is my girls didn't even know they were going to the concert until two hours before it started and they were pleasantly surprised. I especially knew I did a good job when my oldest daughter placed her ticket in her photo album to treasure. And by the way, yes I did keep up with the kids at times doing the shoulder lean, lean with it rock with it, and the dance from "oh, I think they like me", but I drew the line at the "chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side".

In grown-up news, have you ever wondered why you stopped doing things you use to like to do? I took a walk at lunch last week (about six blocks) to go to the book store. While there I purchased the latest issue of Essence with Beyonce on the cover. I use to subscribe to Essence years ago and stopped renewing my subscription for some reason, but WOW, this issue is so good. They have changed the layout of the magazine and it contains a little bit of everything. Some fashion tips, financial tips, entertainment news, hot topic articles and features showing everyday women doing extraordinary things. I am really enjoying this issue. I am definitely going to subscribe again, but as a Girl Scout leader I am going to wait until we kick off our "Be a Reader" campaign to make my dollar more powerful.

Thank you everyone for keeping an eye out for me. I plan on fixing my links and changing my banner soon. After I finally got my computer working I got sick, real sick, I mean 104 temperature sick. Since I can't comment on blogs at work and I am sharing my home computer with my "pre-teen, internet surfing, I-pod downloading" daughter, my computer time is very limited. I am definitely going to have to get another computer in the house..soon!

P.S. I love my cricut. I got it just in time, because now AC Moore is not allowing you to use the coupon to purchase it anymore. It can cut any type of paper, including Bazzill, you just have to know how to adjust the pressure and speed. A lot of people complain about having to change the cutting pads but if you catch them on sale they are only about $7 for two. You don't have to change them too often so I think it is reasonable. I am up to three font cartridges and have been having fun. I can't wait to show my Girl Scout troop in the fall, I think the girls will love it. Also it has a USB port which is rumored to be for adaptation to your computer in the future. My only complaint is that when the cutting pad is brand new it is super sticky and your paper curls as you take it off of the cutting pad.

Monday, August 14, 2006

It’s so good to be home.

I have been M.I.A. for quite some time, why you ask – a major computer virus. I lost everything on my hard drive. I had to reinstall all of my programs. I am still trying to make up for the lost documents. It was a little traumatic for me because I invested a lot of time on some of the things and – poof - in a blink of an eye they are gone. Luckily I did create a backup disk for some of my pictures, but others are lost. I’ve invested several dollars in anti-virus software and have gotten into a backup routine, so I am on the way to recovery but just not 100% yet. In other news so many thing have happened since my last post. My best friend gave birth to twins – Ashley and Sonny – July 20, 2006. Everyone is doing well. She just emailed me pictures (we live in different states) and the babies are beautiful. My youngest grand-nephew turned one. My sister had a big party for him at the Camden Children’s garden, we had a good time. I think he enjoyed every moment. Other little summer things happened but mostly we’ve just been dealing with the heat like the rest of the country.

In scrapping news I have had two major events. First and foremost I purchased the Cricut!!!!! Here’s the story. I do not have any other die cut system, technically. I do have the sidekick and a few dies and I have a few Coluzzle templates but nothing major like the Sixxix or Quickutz. So I have been debating making this kind of financial investment for a while, yet I have gotten increasingly frustrated with hand cutting letters. So once the Cricut premiered I had to have one. Now thanks to the power of the internet, I have been able to monitor the reviews and at first there were some kinks. First rumor had it that it would not cut bazzill paper, which was definitely not good. Next was the price. How could I justify that to myself? Then Stephanie told me major Craft stores would be carrying the Cricut and allowing the use of the coupon. Glory!!!!!!!!!!!! Next obstacle – it has been sold out for months. So since May I have been going back and forth to AC Moore to catch it in stock and this past Wednesday, right after the shipment came in I struck gold, got a Cricut and used a 50% off coupon. Total purchase price $150.00. So worth it. This machine is so awesome. The options are great, and as long as I can use my coupons the price is reasonable, considering a complete sixxix alphabet set retails for $149.00 and I can get a Cricut Cartridge for $56 (after coupon) with more cutting options. Lisa and steph I am bringing it to the next crop!

My second scrapping update is that I fell in love with the new American Crafts papers. Believe it or not I purchased the entire collection and I am determined to use it. I love the colors and patterns and can’t wait to dive in.

I am slowly recovering from my slump. Losing my computer really got me down but I like Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive”
Can you believe it is the middle of August? I have started shopping for school supplies and uniforms. What’s next - Christmas!!!!!! Uggh, where does the time go?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fleas and The Color Purple

What do all of these things have in common? They are all on my mind right now. I woke up early this morning craving a PMS Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. So I pulled out the ingredients, poured a glass of ice cold milk and indulged.

FLEAS - uggh!!! I hate them. I have two cats and they both have them. I need help. Last year when they had them, they were kittens and easy to handle.
Now that they are five times bigger they won't let me put the flea spray on them. Any recommendations?

And finally I am going to see The Color Purple
tomorrow in NYC. Any restaurant recommendations? I know Stephanie went to Serendipity3 when she went to NYC, I may just check them out. Enjoy your weekend. I have spent this morning catching up on blogs and complaining, now I have to go cut the hedges.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Phil-a-del-phi-a Spirit

Hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July weekend so far. Philly does things real big with our America's Birthday Celebration. There have been free events since Monday including several fireworks displays. We went to Penn's Landing and saw the best fireworks display last night. I think everyone in Philly came out because it was packed on the waterfront. Actually that was our second time down there because we went earlier for the Ice Cream Festival. For five dollars we were admitted for all types of all you can eat ice cream and water ice. They had Edy's, Turkey Hill, and Breyers. The highlight will be Tuesday when Lionel Richie and Fantasia will perform on stage at the Art Museum, followed by the fireworks. No pictures yet because I don't really like a digi and I have to put the film in the shop. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Proofs

I just recieved my proofs back from my graduation. I narrowed it down to five pictures. Now I have to narrow it down to two. Which two do you like?

Monday, June 26, 2006

What do you think?

My niece just called me to go on the web to see her friend's web site sorryassbabydaddies.com. The site is supposed to be a forum for female single parents who are not getting child support to put their children's fathers on blast. I went through her site (misspellings and grammatical errors in all)and left with mixed feelings. First, there is a lot of drama because she posted her children's pictures on the site and people feel like she is exploiting them. Her reasoning is that when the news media and talk shows show children, aren't they exploiting them too or is that just business? Secondly her site is poorly edited and managed - not all her fault. Lastly, people ask what is the point? As a single parent I have to 90 percent agree. That kind of anger does not have a place in your home. How can you give your children all of your love,when you are filled with so much anger? It is not good for your physical or mental well-being. The other ten percent of me agrees that absent parents need to be held accountable. So many single parents (male and female) are struggling to give their children a better life than they had. A bigger issues is raising our daughters and sons to become parents by choice not by chance. Children do not come with instructions and parenthood is not something you should get into lightly. Now I agree for a lot of us single parents, our intent is for happily ever after - I know it was mine. I loved my children's father and I find comfort in the fact that they were born from that love. Yes, I wish things would have turned out differently but I know the only way to give my children a fair chance in life is to put away that negativity and be the best I can be. What do you think?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Alls well that ends well

Okay so much for my two day break. My dear bf has returned tonight (by the way he hates computers so he'll never read my blog :). We have an evening of pizza planned (I am having a salad instead) and checking out some movies. I am going to try to rent 16 Blocks and Freedomland, I've heard both of them were good movies. Maybe I'll stop and get my favorite Margarita mix too

Back to the salad thing, we have a cafeteria with a salad bar at work and it is the bomb. Today was my first time trying it, but it was great. Everything was fresh and there are at least eight dressings to choose from. It only costs 39 cents every 4 ounces and it was totally filling. I have been taking baby steps to a better me. I am eating more salads, veggies and fresh fruit, less meat, and drinking lots and lots of water. I truly have to work on my exercise regimen next. Right now I am focusing on walking more. I have gotten so use to jumping in my car just to go to the store three blocks away. I have also given up taking the elevator at work all the time (especially since I have gotten stuck twice in the elevator in the past month). Mentally, I am shopping for books - (any suggestions?) and I am renewing my subscription to Essence - how did I let it lapse? I also have to take the GMATs this summer so I can apply for grad school in January 2007.

It is funny how in our twenties we feel invincible and in our thirties we start appreciating our bodies more so we can make it through the forties, fifties, sixties, etc

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Twice as nice

Two posts in one day! Here are a couple of layouts I managed to complete the past few weeks. This is my daughter on Easter. She is growing up so nicely, and she loves the camera.

She is also getting into photography. She wants to do a photo shoot of me – cool! I kept this simple - used wild asparagus double-sided paper, kraft paper and cut the hearts with my sizzilit dies. I cut the chipboard letters with my coluzzle - it can’t go all the way through the chipboard, but it gives me a guide to cut the letters by hand.

The next layout is of my niece and grand-nephew (her son). He started little league baseball this year; he has so much energy she has to keep him involved in sports. Maybe he’ll make All-American one year. I didn’t do anything special for this layout, I played with circles which was cool and I used my trusty but dusty hole punch to add a different visual element, three bugs in a rug paper.

This last layout is my favorite. I love the edgy look of the Cherry Arte paper so I used foam stamps for the word “urban”, brushed the edges with a dollar store toothbrush and doodled around it with white paint.
The chipboard scroll work is from fancy pants and I painted it gray and green to highlight some of the colors in the paper. The word “diva” is painted chipboard letters from Gin X. Then I added a black ribbon border. It definitely has the look I was going for.TFL.

I am now working on an album from the race for the cure. I wanted to incorporate a poem into it, but the first one to come to mind is Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou and although that is definitely on my list of favorite poems, it is so overdone. So if you know of any poems about women or sisterhood, let me know.

Missing you

I really miss blogging. I have had some changes in my life and I am trying to adapt. First, I can’t check anyone’s blog while I am at work. Due to security reasons, we are blocked from all blogging sites. That really sucks, since I rarely take an “official” lunch break (I rather use that time cyber surfing). So now I have to use the internet when I get home, which has become especially challenging. Since my bf had a stroke, we have been trying to tackle the hurdle of living together. Now to some of you it may seem strange that this is a challenge for me, but I have never lived with a man. I have lived with my sisters a couple times over the past seventeen years but for the most part I have been on my own. I have been a single parent for twelve years and I admit I like being in charge of my own space.

For some it is not that difficult, but for me just the small things (like using my cookie sheet to cook salmon, uuuuuugh!!) that simply drive me through the roof. The other thing is my bf is a homebody and that is good I guess, but then he wants me to spend every moment at home talking to him and watching the scifi channel. Now I know some of you are saying, “What is wrong with a little attention?” Well, I can’t get anything else done – No scrapping, no talking on the phone, no cleaning, no reading, no me time. I have been really trying not to complain because I don’t want him to take it the wrong way and I figure once we get use to sharing our space he will back off a little. So I sneak on the internet – I read your blogs on the way to the bathroom or kitchen or on the sly when I am vacuuming. I sneak and do layouts when he is at the barbershop and I love when he comes home late because I can clean up my scrap area. I feel so deceptive, but I do have a life outside of him, what to do????? Today I am free because he is angry with me and went back to his house (dare I say wooohooo?) So I am trying to catch up, post and comment on everyone’s blog. Here is a picture of us from my graduation. He doesn’t look spoiled does he? But we all know looks can be deceiving.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Being Appreciative

I have spent the past four days really appreciating life. I had a family emergency that was not as bad as it could have been, but it was definitely life changing for someone close to me. We take so many everyday things for granted, something as simple as being able to type this entry, but I encourage everyone to stop and be thankful for today for nothing is promised tomorrow.
On another note I finally finished my layout I started last week at the make it unforgettable crop. Stephanie will see that I went a totally different direction with it, but I think it turned out well. I am trying to pick up the pace with my scrapping but it is hard with work and the family. Anyway this is a short post, I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and enjoy it to the fullest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Living my Life like it's Golden

I had a great weekend. It started off with a graduation for a distance cousin. It was a great way to unwind after work on a Friday night. My daughters also got the chance to play with some second cousins their age, they had so much fun they didn't want to go home. Saturday we went to the Mother/Daughter luncheon for Girl Scouts. We had a light lunch and laughed a lot. I enjoyed their company. Then I dropped them off for some "me" time at the Sistahs in Scrapbooking crop at Make it Unforgettable. It was my first time at the store and WOW! It was more than I expected. The most embarrassing thing was that I have so many of those products already - I definitely have to stop spending!!!!! The best thing was socializing with my blogging buddies who I feel like I know already. We took a picture that Lisa, Stephanie and Toya have on their blogs and when I saw it kind of made me feel like I was in a sorority - Mi Phi Scrap, LOL. I felt like all of us are talented ladies with a common bond, outside of my usual circle of friends and it was great. Now I just have to meet Adrienne to make it complete.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Moms don't have to be Superwomen

I hope everyone had a great Mother's day. I reflected a lot on my life and what example I am trying to set for my daughters. A lot of this reflection occurred during the Race for A Cure - Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walk. I made shirts with my Mom's picture on it because my sisters, nieces, and daughters walk in her memory. It was a hard moment for me and I was glad to keep it together, (my daughters hate to see me cry). So anyway, I was walking and thinking, looking at my daughters and remembering the first time I held them and how much they have grown and I started to think about why scrapping is so important to me. I look at pictures of my mother and search for memories. Most of them are of our relationship not of her as a person. I wonder what she felt as a woman? I wonder if she was happy? What made her happy? What were her goals? What was her wildest moment? Who was her first love? How important was love to her? What would she do differently if she had the chance? Was her life fulfilled? How did she feel when she was first diagnosed? Who did she tell? Who was her favorite group? What were her dreams? So many questions I have for her - see she passed when I was still young so to me she was only MOM, not the strong black woman I now know her to be who overcame so many obstacles. So through the questions I realize that I want these answers left for my daughters. I want them to know that I am who they are going to be someday. That I have feelings and dreams just like they do. I don't want them to think I am perfect. And I don't want them to think I can fix everything. I do want them to know I will try my best to love and provide for them any way possible, but I too may fall short. I don't want to be their Superwoman, just know me as a woman who is a MOM.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited. Not only is tomorrow National Scrapbooking day, but I have the whole house to myself until Sunday. My daughters are away and my boyfriend is being supportive by staying home. There is so much going on. Almost every site has giveaways, free downloads and contests. A Cherry on Top is having an online crop and free online classes. Tiare is doing giveaways and sales at Classy Coordinates.
I personally have so many things I want to complete. I have an order for 25 graduation invitations and I wanted to start the invites for my oldest sister's 50th birthday. I am determined to complete a mini album, and some clipboards. I also want to start end of the year teacher gifts for my daughters' wonderful teachers!!!! So much to do in such a little time.
I hope everyone is enjoying this special holiday for us special people, TTFN - ta ta for now (You have to be a tigger fan to appreciate it)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gone but not forgotten

I haven't posted in a while because I am adjusting to my new schedule. It is hard to find time to post or blog because since I am new I have to be on my best behavior and I can't do it at work :), . Since I am 100% not a morning person, by the time I get home I am ready for bed. So now I am in week two, and I am feeling a little better. I took the time out to scrap this weekend and I have a ton of projects I want to start. I have done some self discovery over the past few weeks like -
* I am buying the Cricut. I saw a demonstration on QVC and since I only have a few sizzlits and no other die cutting system, I think it is worth $250.
* I could win an award for the slowest scrapper in the world. The only consulation is that when an idea does come to me then it flows easily.
* I need two scrapping styles, one to get projects done and another to stretch my
* I absolutely have to start taking pictures of myself, I have so few that the only BOM I could do is a BOM talking about the pictures I don't have of myself.
* I have reached a purchasing plateau, I went to AC Moore and only bought adhesives and cardstock. Definitely time to focus on creating.
So here is the layout I completed this weekend and I hope to get more done this week. Just in case, you don't hear from me until the weekend Have a great week!!!!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Time Out

Since I am changing jobs, I decided to take this week off and I have been more busy than I anticipated. Mostly with Spring cleaning, redecorating, etc. I have been blog surfing and it seems like there is a lot of discussion around why we scrap. Things are definitely changing in the industry. I think part of the frustration or competitiveness comes from the fact that all of us are such talented ladies that we look at the HOFamers and in the magazines, knowing that our pages are deserving of the same kind of glory. I try hard not to get caught up in what will other people think (although we all love praise). But a positive comment from a fellow scrapper is meaningful because it comes from someone who understands the craft and the industry. So how do we stay focused? I once heard the Reverend T.D. Jakes say that we should treat each aspect of our lives like a business, including a mission statement. So my scrapbooking mission statement is "To document and preserve the memories of my life as the story is being told in a creative and artistic manner for all to follow and appreciate for many years to come, leaving an indication of who I am in the creation of each page for future generations of my family. "

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm Walking on Sunshine

And don't it feel good? I am in such a positive place right now, and it feels so good. A few months ago, I received a chain letter email quoting the Reverend T.D. Jakes as saying "don't cry or worry about things that go away, stop chasing them. That means that part of your life is over". This has affected me in so many different ways, I go through life with very few stressors, it is just not worth it. So now my blessings have been pouring in. I picked up my degree from school Wooohooo! I got a new job, double Wooohoo! I had parent/teacher conferences and both of my daughters are doing very well in school, triple Wooohooo! And lastly, I have been scrapping. I know it seems like I do so many layouts of my oldest daughter, but she is such a "ham" that I have a ton of pictures of her. The picture in the layout of both of them is old but I remember that day well. I think it was the hottest day of the summer and Jada (my youngest) was not in the mood to have her pictures taken, so this smirk was the best we could do. I used several transparencies for this layout and I think it came out great. When I thought about them having Levi outfits on, I realized in years to come, they may not even remember that Levi was a brand name, so I really wanted to document a little about Levi's and incorporate it in the title, like a piece of history. Now if I can find my old Sergio Valente's I will really be digging up the past, unfortunately I doubt if they would still fit!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Not feeling it....

There have been so many things going on I that I have not felt like posting. Not because I haven't thought about it or even really wanted to but because I just was not feeling like my normal self. A lot of it has to do with trying to figure out and deal with my relationship with my boyfriend. Some days he makes me really glad that I am technically single. On the flip side some days he makes me feel like being single for the rest of my life is my fate, and to be honest I don't know if that would be such a bad thing. Then there my career choices, educational goals, parenting goals and parenting situations. Not to mention choosing what to watch on TV tonight :). Just joking, but it does seem at times that every small decision turns into a monumental decision. But blogging definitely help me out of those ruts. I look forward to checking up on everyone and letting you know what is going on with me, so thanks you guys.
I have managed to complete one layout. I am too embarrassed to tell you how long I have been working on this page. Sorry for the bad scan but the background should be all one color. The paper is from imagination project. I used foam stamps for the word FAME and added clear embossing powder for a glossy look. I used my coluzzle for the star/flower looking embellishments around the picture. I like the concept of the coluzzle but once you put a few nicks in the template it gets hard to work with. Overall I do like it.
Also here is picture for Tiffany. She posted one of her daughter some time ago I told her I had a similar picture of my daughter. The funny thing is my picture was taken twelve years ago. Doesn't it look similar Tiffany? Now to scrap it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Funny Story

As much as I preach to my children about not worrying about what other people say I do it all of the time. I showed my co-worker my blog today and she looked at my profile picture and said. "Who is that your mother?" Now, I loved my other picture because I though it looked a little classic and my complexion looked true to life. Even still I felt the need to change the picture, because let's face it I don't want to look older. I converted it to black and white because the background was so busy. When I take another one I like I will probably change it again.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is there something in the water?

We had such beautiful weather this weekend, that I took my girls to the park for a few pictures. This is one of my twelve year old daughter - twelve?????? Oh my goodness what is in the food? I did not look anything like this when I was twelve or am I being paranoid? She has hips and everything, what happened to my baby? Even though she looks older she has the personality of a twelve year old and does not give me an ounce of trouble. She does everything I ask her to do and does not complain. She talks to me and tells me when she thinks I am wrong in a very respectful manner. She is definitely my pride and joy (her sister too, but it's something about the first). I wish she would have had the chance to meet my mom. My mother would have spoiled her to death. She has a gap in her front teeth like my mother (she hates it, I love it) - I see my mother in her everytime I look at her. I am blessed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sales and stuff

I got two Michael's ads this week in my Sunday paper and guess what? They now have American Crafts Ribbons . So I went to my local store, armed with two 40% off coupons. The ribbon is only $5.99 regular price and with the coupon my total came to 3.59 a pack. If you are into ribbon you will love them. They are soo pretty in person. I wanted to buy the whole line. Of course they wouldn't let me use two coupons in one visit, so my plan is to take my daughters back with me and use three coupons (I have some from A.C. Moore too). Adrienne says they may be phasing out the coupons - I hope it isn't so. I just got use to having them e-mailed to me instead of looking for them in the newspaper. Speaking of .Adrienne, she now has me excited about
scrapetc's online store's grand opening. Check it out, they are having fun grand opening contests and great prizes

Friday, March 10, 2006

I don't do shout outs but if I did..........

I don't know how many people listen to or even get the Tom Joyner morning radio show from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Monday -Friday but he does a segment where you can shout out people even though they swear they don't do shouts outs. So since I have been MIA I want to shout out everyone to let you know I have been lurking but not really able to post.

First a big shout out to Adrienne who set her mind to getting her scrapping room together and did her grand reveal today. Love it A - you are too much.

Next I have to holler at Stephanie who is starting a big project. You must be reading my mind because I am determined to complete my first full album this month too.

Hey there Tiffany!! Congrats on your graduation! What is it your Master's or Doctorate? I am graduating in June with my bachelor's. My daughters are so proud and now that I have received my student loan bill, I will be registering for a Master's program very soon :).

Shout out to Dana - love your posts, you are so real. You and I have a lot in common and I look forward to reading your blog.

Big shout out to Toya. You offer such great ideas and share your true love of scrapbooking, you keep me focused on the real reasons I scrap.

I can't forget Lisa who is laid back but extremely talented and 100% supportive. Can't wait to see you again at the next crop. What should I bring?

And last but not least there is Bonzairn's blog that is just full of inspiration both creatively and spiritually. I love your work and your positive nature.

I hope I didn't forget anyone but if I did please know I have mad props and respect for all of the talented scrappers out there. I hope everyone has a great weekend, we are having great weather in the Northeast so whatever I do it will be outside.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I am having a question mark instead of a period

I absolutely, positively hate, "the curse", "My visitor", "Mary" or any other code word,covert name for "that time of month". I have the misfortune to be a member of the symptom-of-the-month club. One month I have swelling - it doesn't matter what (feet, hands, legs, attitude, etc). Another time is was a hand rash - go figure. Another month it was bloating. Another month I have breast tenderness (okay TMI). Then one month to my surprise it was nothing, thank God I count the days and go to the bathroom often. This month I am overly emotional, nauseous and have a bad attitude. If I roll my eyes any harder they really may fall out of my head like my mother use to say. My question mark during this yucky period is - why don't men go through something just as awful every month? And my other question is - Where is the off switch? I love my children and know I am blessed to have them but my baby factory is closed, shut down for business, finito - so why can't I just turn it off?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Where does the time go?

I can't believe that it is Sunday night already. I have spent this weekend food shopping, cooking and cleaning and no scrapping. Part of that is because of the way I food shop. I have to hit about four-five stores just to get everything I want. I have one place for meats, another for vegetables, another for household goods, and another for pantry items. Then of course I have to hit the dollar store for those "special" deals. So it becomes an all day event. The good thing is that I end up spending only about $150 to $175 dollars for the month for the three of us. That's not bad, huh. Tiffany has gotten me hooked on the sweet and salty granola bars. The almond version is just too good, and they are priced just right at Walmart.
Now I have to do my daughters hair for her trip to The Franklin Institute tomorrow. I got bumped as a chaperone because of limited space, so I want to make sure she is well prepared.
On another note, I am really bummed out about not being able to do any scrapping this weekend. I can't say that I've lost my mojo, I just keep letting life's daily struggles and turmoil get in my way. There are at least two challenges on A Cherry on Top that I want to complete by Tuesday and one that I have until March 15 to tackle. So let me wash dishes, do hair, iron clothes, vaccum for the night and oh yeah scrapbook. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cutter Shopping

Okay, I am in serious need of a cutting system. I have a Sizzlit die cutter that works great. I never invested in a Sizzix just because it seemed so expensive buying different dies and fonts. Just as I was going to breakdown and buy a Sizzix the electronic cutters started to come out. So I have been looking at the options. I like the wishblade. I actually love the wishblade. The biggest attraction is that it is compatible with any true type font. The drawbacks are that it has be hooked up to the computer and it seems like there is a learning curve and oh yeah, the price. But I found a web site The Scrappin Path that will allow you to put it on layaway and its is even on sale for $439.00. But then on the other hand there is the cricut. This is too cute. It looks easy to use and it is portable. The price tag is $299.00 (I found a site that had pre-orders for $269.00)which isn't that bad. The drawback is that you have to purchase cartridges to get different fonts at $89.00 a cartridge. That can really add up. So now I am wondering am I being too frugal especially since right now I am hand cutting letters and some of my images. Or is the market going to change and these machines are going to be on sale at ridiculously low prices and I'll regret not holding out a little longer. I did make one major decision however - after I purchase a cutter, then I am on scrap book shopping hiatus. I am going to limit my purchases to cardstock necessities and my monthly kit until I reach my goal of completing several albums. I have found myself becoming a collector instead of a creator and I don't like it. Maybe I will hold off my purchases until the CK in Valley Forge this summer, that will make the experience more exciting.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Random Facts About Me

I got this from Bonzairn's blog. Just a little Friday fun, TGIF.

* I know all of the words to "Rapper's Delight", by the Sugar Hill Gang and "The Show" by Dougie E. Fresh.

* I chose my second daughters middle name (Corrin) while watching reruns of Happy Days at 1:30 a.m. with heartburn (Marion was telling Howard about their friends Corrin and Ed)

*I am the youngest of five girls (I was a surprise pregnacy)

* I collect african american dolls

* I love computers, puzzles, math - anything with a solution

* I've written several short stories and have started a book - It will take years to finish

* I've never been married. Some missed chances, some close calls I'm glad to have avoided but there's still hope.

* I love to cook. I make mostly every meal from scratch - even during the work week.

That's it for me, Happy Friday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Joke

Weather forecasting is about the only profession where you can be wrong 90% of the time and not get fired. But good grief when they are right you have to give them their props. It has been snowing here since 1:30 p.m. Saturday and it now 11:45 a.m. on Sunday. Don't get me wrong it is definitely beautiful and the girls are dressed and ready to go out and play. It has made the hustle and bustle of the city halt to a quiet calm and there is hardly a car on the street. But the bad comes too, the shoveling, digging out, slick spots on the roads and the accidents. I did some scrapping to pass the time and made some discoveries this weekend. First I love 8x8 layouts. It is especially great for single pictures.
I did this one of Jas with alphabet stencils . So then I decided to continue using the alphabet stencils on one for Jade too.
Now I have decided to do an A-Z album about me and my family. I have already started the C page and I am so excited about it coming together. I'll keep you updated. My other discovery is that I love Simple Scrapbooks magazine. I have subscribed to several different magazines in the past, but now my top three are Scrapbooks Etc, Simple Scrapbooks and Creating Keepsakes in that order. Lastly, rub-ons must be made by cigarette manufacturers because they are so addictive. I have been online trying to find more to buy!! Well I'm off to shovel out my car... I would pay someone to do it but you know nothing ever seems done right unless you do it yourself.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Finally a Boy Layout

Coming from a household of girls, going to an all girls High School, having two daughters and having mostly female relatives and friends I realized I have never done an all boy layout. I was determined to do something that was not pink or pastel. Since I now have three grand-nephews I focused my energy on a layout for my oldest two nephews. They are so fun to be around. I enjoy their company and they love teaching me how to play video games. Hope you like it (My stitching software isn't the greatest).

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Has it been that long?

I can't believe it has been so long since I've posted. So much every day life stuff, like paying bills, taking care of my girls, working, etc has taken over my time. One of the best things to happen recently is that my very best friend called me to tell me she is pregnant for the first time. Plus she is pregnant with twins!!!!! She is due in September, I am so excited. I know that she will make a wonderful mother. Her husband is great and she has the biggest heart, so much love to share. I have found that my cure for scrapping block is to either shop or to make cards. I have made some really cool purchases including the new 3 bugs in a rug paper and the chatterbox embellishment packs, they should be here tomorrow. We will be watching the superbowl commercials tonight (oh yeah, the game too) and ordering pizza. Go Eagles, I mean Steelers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Some call it a Comeback

I actually started this post last night but without warning we had a terrible thunder and lightning storm. My dog was running around hysterically (she is afraid of loud noises) and my daughter could not sleep. I got off of the computer because if I got hit with a power surge - well I would just die. I got tagged by Tiffany(thanks Tiffany:) - this was a hard one) and answered all of my questions, listed below. But first I have to shout out Stephanie. I got a chance to participate in a crop with her and a group of other talented ladies and it was such a boost to my spirit and mojo. I have been on a scrapping roll ever since. I am making a dent in my pictures and hopefully I will be able to complete a few albums, just like I resolved to this year. Okay so without further delay here are my responses -
1. First time you got kissed. How was it? I was about twelve years old and the boy's name was Gregory Jackson. He was my neighbor and we were the same age so he was my boyfriend as far back as I can remember. I think it was a good kiss because I remember him still being my boyfriend afterwards.

2. First time you drove a car. What kind of car was it? I am a late bloomer; I did not get behind the wheel of a car until I was 26 years old. My co-worker Gina was brave enough to teach me to drive in her Volvo. God bless her.

3. First time you scrapbooked. When you look at your page, do you love it? I still like (not love) my first page. I did it about nine years ago when I had a subscription to a mail order scrapbooking company called Oxmoor House. You definitely can tell it was earlier than my current pages but it tells the story. I thought about changing it but I like seeing how far I have come.

4. First time you went on a date. Where did you go? Who with? The first time I went on a date was a double date with my girlfriend Emily in the eighth grade. She set me up with her boyfriend's friend. She was a wild child and gave "making out"in the movie theater a new definition. I did not like my date (his breath was a little on the tart side) so needless to say I watched the movie from beginning to end.

5. First time you fell in love. How did you know? The first time I fell in love was with my high school sweetheart James. He was definitely the one who got away. We were dancing to "If Only for One Night" by Luther Vandross (who doesn't have a Luther story) at my prom and we kissed. For the first time I understood what it meant to feel like you were floating on air. I still love him and would love a second chance with him in the future.

6. First time you cooked for someone. Was it yummy? What did you make? My mother let me cook thanksgiving dinner when I was about 15 years old. I had been cooking for years but not a major meal by myself. The turkey was a golden brown and smelled good except one BIG mistake. No one told me about the bag of giblets inside - ugggh gross. My mother somehow fixed it and we had a good dinner in spite of.

7. First time you got on a plane. Where did you go? Were you scared? Okay scared doesn't define it; I was-is-am-will be petrified. I do not like airplanes, it is too confining for me. My oldest daughter and I took the plane from Philly to Detroit for a family reunion. The flight was only about 1 hour and fifteen minutes but I thought it was horrible. Outside of my fears the flight was uneventful -no delays or turbulence, but I was happier once we landed.

8. First time you shaved your legs. Did you cut yourself? I do not have much hair on my legs so I've gone through most of my life without shaving them. Now that I am older I use Nair once every few months and I am done!

9. First time you put on makeup. Looking back, how did you look? Did you look good or like a clown? The first time I wore makeup is when I went to junior high school. I loved eyeliner and lipstick and since it was the eighties my eye liner was always thick. I loved it; my mother was not too fond of it. She must have known it was only a fad because she didn't fuss too much and I got tired of it quickly.

10. First time you moved out of your (parents) home. Was it to an apartment or house? I moved out of the house when I was 17 years old my mother just passed away and my sisters didn't understand that I was now "grown" or so I thought. I moved into a room in lets say not so great section of Philly. It motivated me to quickly save up and get an apartment.

I double tag Stephanie - Adrienne already tagged her but she didn't post yet. Come on Stephanie join the fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Much Needed Day Off

I knew I would not feel like going to work today so I took a vacation day. My daughters had off from school for a professional development day. We spent the day relaxing and cleaning. I spent two hours blow drying my daughter's hair - she is going to the hairdresser's at the end of the week, I can't take it anymore. I did manage to complete one layout of my daughter and her father. Even though we are no longer together this picture evokes the same feelings today as it did twelve years ago.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Long Ride Home

I visited my Aunt Bert this weekend, who also happens to be my oldest living relative that I am close to who I can talk to about anything. I told her my daughters were asking me about the civil rights movement and since I am too young to remember what it was like, could she talk to them. She told me everything you hear is just what it was and everything good said about Dr. King is exactly what is was. My Aunt grew up in South Carolina and at 80 years old she remembers segregation. She said they would go to the five & dime to buy ice cream and they would have to stand at the side window and pay for their cone while the clerk passed it through the window, careful not to touch them while the white patrons sat at tables laughing and talking while eating their ice cream. It wasn't until years later after the civil rights movement, when she and her daughter went back could she enjoy sitting at a table. She told me how she and my mother would go to the movies in SC and had to go in a separate entrance and pay a separate ticket taker and sit in the balcony and look down to see the same movies as whites. A lot of people like to bring up negative things about Dr. King to prove that he was not perfect, no man is, but no matter what they can't take away all of the good things he did. My Aunt has nothing but admiration for Dr. King and thanks for what he did not only for black people but the awakening of race relationships around the world. He gave voice to the suffering in silence of a race of people. Lastly she told me how people talk about sitting on the back of the bus, but don't mention how trains were segregated too. She and most of my family migrated to Philly, but would still go to SC to visit. If the train became full with white people the black people had to give up their seat on the train too. I don't know what kind of memories this evoked for her, because my aunt is solid as a rock ( I've only seen her cry a few times in my life like when my mother died) but her eyes welled up a little as she said, "That made for a long ride home".
Thank you Dr. King.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I gave in to temptation

I must confess, I gave in. I tried, Lord knows I tried but I just couldn't resist.....joining a monthly scrapbooking kit club! I am now an official member of The Red Lily. Thanks to Adrianne and Stephanie.It started out so innocently. I just visited the site and looked around. I saw the December kit and was tempted, but my credit card said, "Are you kidding, you haven't finished Christmas shopping!", so I resisted. Then I wanted to go into the gallery,but you have to sign up. Sign up..Oh No!! I felt my defenses weakening. I was a member but no kit - what kind of logic was that. Yet I signed up anyway, I started reading all of the comments and looking in the gallery, wanting to join but not succumb to peer pressure. But it finally happened, I was broken when I saw the January Kit. The pinks and the swirls just drew me in!! I snatched my credit card out of my purse, rationalized why I needed to spend money and signed up today. I can't wait until my kit arrives.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I was feeling a little down at lunch today until I remembered I had some pictures to pick up from the processessor. I knew that would cheer me up because my girls and I were having some fun with the camera. My oldest, Jazz, has always been a ham. She loves being photographed. Now that she is twelve she is more critical of herself but still knows that she is "the bomb". My younger daughter is a little more reserved, but still a ham. She chose this hairstyle herself because she said it was cute. I love their personalitites, never a dull moment.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pet Peeves

Have you ever met someone who will ask you for your opinion and then argue you up, down and sideways about what you think? Is that not the craziest concept or what? The crazy thing about it that I am truly okay with keeping my opinion to myself. I don't need to be right, I just like being me - so why the drama? Needless to say that I am talking about a man, although I know women do it too. Now that I got that off of my chest check out the few scrap goods I found at the Dollar Tree this weekend. Every once in a while I find something scrapable (is that a word) that is definitely worth a dollar. I wonder who thought of the dollar store concept, they must be a billionaire by now, I wish it was me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

You know you are a scrapbooker when...........

My sister and I love living in a major city. It is full of culture, opportunities and craziness. We play a game, kind of like I Spy, that we call you know your ghetto when...and then we add the ending. Like she called me when she saw someone eating a full chicken dinner on the elevated train. That is definitely ghetto. I topped her because my boyfriend saw someone eating a large can of canned peaches out of the can on the bus - too ghetto. So I decided to put a spin on it about scrapbooking. You know you are a scrapbooker when................

* there is no such thing as junk mail - everything can be altered.
* Every moment, including your kids playing in dirt, is a photo-op.
* Having five pairs of scissors and ten different kinds of glue actually makes sense.
* You spend more time cleaning your scrapping area than your house.
* The UPS man starts to wonder what is really in those pizza boxes.
* You compliment someone's outfit because you have similar patterned paper at home.
* You make your children get dressed before they open their Christmas presents - the pictures will look better.
* You have more art supplies than your children.
* People like the handmade card you gave them better than their gift.
* A good weekend means you completed five layouts and did laundry.
* Words like Xyron, deboss, and Clickit mean something to you.
* Your family feels honored to even be allowed in your scrapping space (they still can't touch anything though)
* tearing paper is a good thing.
* You struggle to figure out what to do with that last little piece of your favorite paper - it is definitely not trash.

That's all for me - what can you come up with?
Thank you everyone for participating...it is good when we can laugh at ourselves. I am thinking about submitting our ideas to a magazine, I think it would make a great article. I came up with one more - You know you are a scrapbooker when purchasing supplies fall after paying utilities but come before paying the cable bill on your household budget. We all have our priorities.

I'm your #1 Fan!

My daughters and I went to kwanzaa celebration during the holiday break at the main library in center city. This group of gorgeous young men performed called Ju-Taun. They performed two originals songs and did a medley of songs acapella. They had everyone screaming when they did "Shout". They are on an independent label so after the show they sell their cds out of a box. My daughter and I bought a cd and each of the members signed it for her and posed for this picture. I got a chance to talk to them briefly and they were so nice. I checked out the cd and I am pleasantly surprised. I have it in rotation at home, work and in the car. This was my daughter's first time meeting "celebrities" so she was excited, plus they are just too cute!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Next Major Holiday

My niece and I have a running joke that the next holiday is "Income Tax Day". That is the day I get to treat myself to something that I would not normally put into my budget. I started making my wish list today, it includes -
the wishblade cutter
a new monitor
an ipod (I bought my daughter a mp3 for Christmas and fell in love)
scrapbooking shopping spree (I have been on a tight budget, I need to catch up on my spending)
clothes shopping spree (depending on if and how much weight I lose)
I will be adding more things as I think of them. I feel like it is my personal Christmas holiday.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Today is full of firsts for me. It is obviously the first of the month, but it is also my first child's birthday. She has been a constant joy in my life. Her smile is infectious and her confidence is admirable. This layout of her is my first for 2006. I finished it in record time, probably because I have been off of work all week.

first layout Posted by Picasa
I did my first altered paint can this Christmas as a present for my best friend. I think it came out well. I love the colors. I got this paper when I was a member of a monthly kit club. There are so many clubs out there now I don't know which one to choose. Unfortunately I can only subscribe to one at a time - any suggestions?

altered can lid Posted by Picasa

altered can Posted by Picasa

A New Year

I know it has been said before, but I can't believe another year has passed. It's seems like not too long ago we were in a y2k bug panic, not knowing what to expect and now in 2006 we use technology more and more to keep in touch with one another. To all of my family and friends that keep up with my blog I love you and appreciate the value you give my existence. To those I have yet to meet - 2006 is my chance to shine and grow...Watch out der now! My resolutions include - a healthier me (including regular doctor's visits), both mentally and physically. A year of growth in my crafts - both photography and scrapbooking, maintain my role as a loving mother and mentor for my daughters, figuring out this whole love and relationship thing (I have to laugh at that one myself) and above all letting those in my life know as often as I can that I love them.
Happy New Year's everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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