Monday, April 30, 2012

April Craft Spending

Where did April go? This month is flying by quickly. I've had less time to craft and blog as I settle into a new job. I did some shopping early in the month, so I have some craft spending to share. Last month I bought stamps and papers. This month I focused on markers and inks. The picture shows my purchase from my local scrapbook store. I am still experimenting with the new Distress Markers. So far I like the Distress Inks Pads better, but those cost more and take up more space. I restocked some white Thickers and bought the embossing folder that I have been eyeing for a while. I also found a new Copic marker that coordinates with some I already have.

I stopped by Michael's looking for a reinker for my favorite black ink pad (Memento Tuxedo Black), but I could not find it. Instead I found some Memento Markers on sale, including the black. I picked those up and decided to check out Joann's. They only sold the reinker in a package of 3 with Staz On and Versa Mark, but it was on sale. Now I am stocked up on reinkers and markers!

My monthly target is $40, but I am over again at about $56.11. I am not sure if I should raise my monthly target budget a little or shop less. For May, I would like to to order some washi tape from Freckled Fawn and I love the new Spring Distress Ink pads.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today's Mantra

I am a week and a half into my new job and am slowly adjusting. I spent seven and a half years working at one university, five and a half years in the same office at the university, and then four months off of work. This is a big change! My new office is welcoming and the position has a lot of potential.

Today, my mantra has been "You are right where you should be." I read this on Donna Downey's blog a while ago and she even designed a stamp with this sentiment. The sentiment is a combination of accepting your current situation and acknowledging that it could change in the future.

I was so happy to wrap up my job search, but I had applied to other positions before receiving the offer for my current position. I was contacted for phone interviews for two of those positions and politely declined. The best compliment was having a staff member give her colleague my resume for an open position at a certain prestigious university. This week I was emailed with an invitation to apply and have a phone interview for the opening. It was hard to turn it down, but "I am right where I should be."

Photo taken 1/9/12 of Tower Hall at San Jose State University

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Take Twelve & Lots of Links

Last week, I used the Take Twelve Challenge from Ella Publishing to document one of my last days as a stay-at-home mom. I actually found it challenging to get 12 unique photos of our day. I made a digital layout using My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up!, some digital elements from One Little Bird Designs, and some digital stamps from Ali Edwards/Designer Digitals. I edited the photos in Pic Monkey, which is my new go-to site for photo editing since Picnik is going away soon.

I thought about lining up the photos in a grid, but I went to the scattered look instead. I am thinking that all of the words and details will show up when I print this as a 12x12 page. For now, you can click on the image for a larger view.

Participating in memory keeping projects reminds me to take more pictures of our daily lives. Next week Ali Edwards is putting together her Week in the Life project. I enjoyed participating last July, but I do not know if I will be up for it with my new job starting. (I will probably decide on Sunday evening.) Eventually, Week in the Life would make a good Shutterfly photobook. You can get a free 8x8 book through May 21st with this promotion.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Last Weekend

On Saturday we checked out Rengstroff Park in Mountain View. I did not take any pictures since I was busy watching Alex make a mess in the sand and water. I think that he was entertained for at least an hour with just sand, water, a bucket, and a shovel. It is a good thing that I had a change of clothes in the car because he was soaked.

Later we headed North on 880 to the East Bay. Since Alex had not taken a nap earlier, this was a good time for him to nap. We had fun in Berkeley with Uncle Matt and Heather. We played on the playground at Codornices Park and took a nice little hike to the waterfall. We watched the sun set and then had dinner at Jupiter. On the way home, Alex coined the term "pizza in a bag."

On Sunday we had a quiet Easter at home including brunch and an egg hunt. This is the first year that Alex has been really into the candy. He has been asking for candy each morning this week.

So far for this weekend, we tried the pizza at Amici's and are planning to attend the San Jose Taco Festival on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 Things: Moving On

Earlier this month, we closed the sale of our house in Texas. This was our first house, and I lived there for five an a half years. We officially bought the house on July 14, 2006, and slept on the floor there the first night due to our excitement. Alex and I had one-way tickets to move to California on January 14, 2012. I snapped some pictures the week we moved, and now seems like a good time to share them.

The house was all packed on a Wednesday.

It took me forever, but the ugly wallpaper was removed in the master bathroom and replaced with yellow paint. The green carpet was replaced after we moved out.

This was Alex's room right before the move. The green carpet was also replaced after the move. Alex switched to a "big boy bed" once we moved to California.

Since I did not have years to remove the wallpaper, we had a contractor remove the wallpaper and repaint the hall bathroom. He was messy, but we were still happy with the results.

The moving truck was loaded on a Thursday. Alex and I flew to California the following Saturday. The dogs were actually the last to move. My parents took care of the dogs for a few days, and then my mom flew with the dogs to California. I am so glad that I did not have to fly by myself with a toddler and two dogs!

This was Alex's tree.

John built the shed.

Alex's teachers made him this awesome sign for his last day at the Child Development Center. We all loved his first "school."

We have many fond memories of our first house and living in Texas.

10 Things on the 10th of the Month is organized by the awesome Shimelle. You can find links to 10 Things posts from bloggers all over the world at

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thank You

Today I have another guest post at Scrapworthy Lives. You can read my thoughts on blogging as scrapbooking here. Thank you to Stephanie for allowing me to share two guest posts. This was a positive distraction during my job search, and it helped me think more about my blogging and writing. I also want to thank everyone who reads my blog. This blog is almost five years old (and five is Alex's favorite number right now). I am happy to have a place to share stories from our lives and my crafty projects.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quite a Week

Last week was quite a week! One Monday, we signed the papers to close the sale of our house in Texas. (Our first house) Overall, the process went smoothly, especially considering the housing market and economy. We have met people out here who are renting out properties from their past locations. We are happy that the San Antonio market was favorable enough to sell. We are also happy to be renters again. We appreciate the flexibility and time to learn the area. (And John does not miss the yard work!)

The week continued with more good stuff. On Wednesday I was offered an Academic Advising position with San Jose State University. It took me about a day to get excited, and I was not sure why at first. Then I realized that I had just settled in to staying home with Alex. After the big move, it took me a little while to get excited about another change. I happily accepted the position on Thursday and will start later this month.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March Craft Spending

In March, I spent $49.33 on craft supplies at my local scrapbook store. I was hovering as they set out the new Lawn Fawn stamps and paper. I chose three items, which took me over my monthly target of $40. I am ok with this since I have been using all of these items. I am really happy with the stamp sets and the collection pack!


Let's go back to the 90's to Jump Around with House of Pain:

And we can't forget to Jump with Kris Kross:

These videos were brought to you by the current CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #46: Name That Tune. The challenge is to create a clean and simple card based on a song. I think that these songs have been stuck in my head on and off since 1992. (Edited: Was that really 20 years ago?!)

For my card, I continued to try out my Lawn Fawn Critters in the Burbs stamp set. I had fun stamping the frogs and coloring them with some Copic Markers, which also make the card fit into Lawnscaping Challenge #31: Coloring. When I first started stamping I was not sure that I would like coloring on my cards. Copics and colored pencils are just as much fun as a new box of crayons.

Here is my card:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Flexibility & Spontaneity

I do well with structure. Personality tests have shown that I am a Gold on True Colors and a strong J on Myers-Briggs. At first, I struggled with the lack of structure thrown at me while moving, staying home with the little man, and job hunting. Over time I am doing better with having less structure in my life.

Less structure gives us needed flexibility right now. John worked nights for two weeks, but it did not disrupt the limited routine that Alex and I had developed. I have been able to handle many aspects of selling a home in another state, including making countless phone calls during the "work day." The closing process can be unpredictable, but I could be at home waiting for phone calls or emails to help us complete the next steps.

My biggest surprise is enjoying spontaneous activities with Alex. We have a little structure in our days and weeks but not too much. I like doing (little) fun things on a whim. Last Monday, Alex asked for a cookie. I don't keep cookies around, but I had the ingredients on hand to bake peanut butter cookies using this simple recipe. Alex helped and John took some to work the next day.

On Thursday, we spontaneously decided to try a new pizza place on the recommendation of one of John's co-workers. We found our new favorite pizza place! We plan to go back to Pizz'A Chicago. (They even had "Pop" on the menu.)

Friday was a beautiful day, so I wanted to walk to one of our favorite parks. It is about 0.8 miles from our apartment, but we had not tried to walk there. Alex and I walked to the park in less than a half hour, and then John met us there after work. Alex did well with the walk and next time we can walk both ways.

Even with more free time and flexibility, some things in my life have not changed. My apartment is not spotless. I make dinner most nights, but I am not suddenly cooking fancy or complicated meals. Once we got into a groove, I really started to enjoy staying home with Alex. I have been home long enough now to make it hard to go back once I get a full-time job. At least I have a new appreciation for flexibility, free time, and spontaneity.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Storytelling Sunday

Last year, I took a blogging class at with ladies from all over the world. I still read Allison's blog, and she participates in Storytelling Sundays on Sian's blog. I was just thinking about how blogging has helped me to enjoy writing more. This seems like a good time to jump in, and it is still Sunday here in California.

Alex wants to be a Firefighter

Alex and I stopped at the FedEx store on Friday to fax documents for the sale of our house in Texas. We talked about how people worked there and at the surrounding stores. I started telling him about all of the different jobs that I could think of in that moment. "Daddy works on computers." You can drive a truck or a cab." We moved onto firefighters, which Alex really likes right now. He goes around saying, "Firefighters to the rescue!" By the end of our conversation, he decided that he wants to be a firefighter. This is his first interest in a profession, and I am sure that it will evolve over time. Growing up, I remember wanting to be an astronaut, teacher, writer, doctor, psychologist, and then back to teacher. (I may still have time to be some of those things.) I certainly did not grow up planning to become an academic advisor.