Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back to work

It's Sunday evening and my week off from work is quickly coming to an end. I only completed 6 of the 19 items on my to do list :( Luckily though I'm almost done with editing another photo shoot, which will be 3 photo sessions complete!! I'm thinking I'll just pay someone to detail my car so that I can check that one off my list - I never claimed I was detailing the car myself. This is one of the pictures from my current edit session that I REALLY love. I'll have more on my photo blog in a day or two. Unfortunately today's weather didn't allow me to do the 2 photo sessions I had scheduled. Near freezing temps with rain/sleet mixture usually doesn't make subjects photogenic.....go figure! Tomorrow I must return to work after a whole week off, but I only have to work 3 weeks and I'm off for another 2 weeks! I always take off the last two weeks of the year, so returning isn't all that bad. Plus I know I'm going to have more than enough work to keep me super busy until my next vacation. I'm going to edit a few more pictures before retiring to bed and a few pages of "Twilight". Oh I almost forgot, when I was shopping Friday a picked up a cute new shower curtain and towel set to redecorate my bathroom for Christmas - plan to do that next week, will be sure to post a pic when it's done! Hope you great work week!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!!

I have my pumpkin bars baking in the oven, my first two cups of coffee drank, waiting for the Macy's Day Parade to start and thought I'd get a quick post up. I was working on Elijah's picture edits yesterday and thought I'd get one more posted before I post the rest on my photography blog.. I like this picture in color too so look for it again when I get more up.

I'll be heading to Aunt Helen's in a few hours to enjoy our turkey feast with 20-30 close family members. Aunt Helen is a wonderful cook (several of our recipes start with Aunt Helen's "this"), can't hardly wait for the time to pass......good thing there's a parade to occupy my time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stampin' Up Ferry

I've been rigorously working on editing pictures all day and needed a break to relieve the strain on my neck & back so I decided to take a short walk.

When I stepped onto my porch I found that I'd been visited by the Stampin' Up Ferry. (Too bad I have to pay this ferry to visit me!!) Somehow I didn't here UPS drop off my delivery today.

This is my box of supplies and stamps to create this year's Christmas card.

Which color do you think it'll be?

Trust me, your guess is as good as mine. As tempted as I am to go into the craft dungeon and play....I'm not going to work on my Christmas card until I get the photo edits DONE.

For those who know me, you realize the agony I'm suffering just letting those supplies sit around unused......

Well, it's after 10pm so I think I'm going to change into pj's and read a little. In honor of my week off, I also bought 4 new books! Which means I won't get to sleep before 1am any night this week- I usually start to have vision problems in the 1 o'clock hour. I should finish the first book up tonight. I'm starting Twilight next (I realize most people have already read this since the movie came out LAST week).

Progress Update

I'm not moving along very well on my to do list, can't say I've accomplished much of anything on it yet. But I did finally get ONE of the HS senior sessions edited and have another underway.

Here's a peak at her pic's. You can find the rest here! I was playing in photoshop on this one.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's raining again

It's raining here in SoIL at the moment and should rain the entire night, ending sometime late tomorrow morning. I love going to sleep listening to rainfall and the best part is that I don't have to get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow! I'm off work for an entire WEEK.

While I don't have to report to CPI world headquarters I do have a lot to accomplish this week. I thought if I post my "to do" list, then maybe I'll accomplish a little more of it.
  1. Laundry - caught up and put away
  2. "Spring" clean bedroom - AGAIN, yes I realize spring has already sprung
  3. Detail car - it really needs waxed before the winter months - then again maybe I should look at trading it for a ??????
  4. Finish edits on all photo shoots - honestly this will consume most of my time this week
  5. Get wireless router working - AGAIN
  6. Clean/organize craft room - take picture if this actually gets done
  7. Create this year's Christmas card
  8. Make 150 Christmas cards from above said design - lets be realistic this won't happen in one week
  9. Create/order PF Photography business cards
  10. Create "save the date" cards for the bride-to-be to proof
  11. Create multiple wedding invitations for the bride-to-be to proof
  12. Work on quote for wedding - deliver to the bride-to-be
  13. Get photography website? still looking at cost, not positive on this one yet
  14. Work on CPI financial "stuff" before returning to work next Monday
  15. Attend 20th reunion planning meeting
  16. Shop on Black Friday - duh
  17. Two more photo shoots, Saturday and Sunday
  18. Crochet another baby afghan (2 actually) and a scarf
  19. Eat lots of turkey on Thursday with the family

I think that will keep me pretty busy. I'll get a few pictures from this weekends photo shoots posted hopefully tomorrow. If I'm MIA for a few days, you now understand why. Have a great Thanksgiving week!

Why won't this work?

Is anyone else having issues with line spacing....or is it just me?
I can't get spaces between my paragraphs - UUGGGHHH, it's driving me nuts!

Just checking in

I haven't posted in a week - sorry haven't been very cheery, thought I'd better check in to let everyone know I'm still here though!
It's been another sad week for my family. We've attended WAY too many funerals this year, this week we lost a very special member at much too young of an age. My cousin devoted her life to nursing and her children. She lost her battle to cancer this week and was laid to rest Friday. On that note - I'm ready for 2009 - there have just been too many funerals this year and not just within my family (which have had more than our share) but from friend's families also. One of the elders in my family that died earlier this year was my Great Aunt is the card I made for her 100th birthday a couple of years ago.
On a good note....I've been taking tones of pictures and devoting as much time as possible on the editing phase of those. I had a HS senior session yesterday and have a family/Christmas session this afternoon. Still loving the photography thing BTW! I'm thinking of taking real photography classes at SIU in the near future. The thought of going back to school is actually exciting when I think of photography and not accounting. I've thought about getting my MBNA but to think of more business/accounting classes for hours on end sitting in class talking about business theories just doesn't get me motivated to complete that master's program.
I think I have an idea of what my homemade/stamped Christmas card will be this year - HOORAY! My supplies will be delivered either Monday or Tuesday....just have to wait to see which mental picture I like best once I actually make it into a card. I usually make 4-5 different designs before I settle on "the" card of the year. Here are a few of the past cards I've sent out, of course they look much better in real life - scans really don't do them any justice plus I had to scan them with a black piece of card stock behind them to get the edges to show up, sorry some aren't exactly straight either!!
2002 - 1st Christmas card sent...yep it's pretty basic

2004...getting a little more technical/artistic savy

2005....I loved this one (probally my fav so far)

2006 - the picture looks much better IRL

2007 - once again picture looks better IRL2008.......just have to wait and see. I can't post that picture until everyone gets their cards in the mail anyway, I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

If you're not on my Christmas mailing list or have moved recently you'd better make sure I have your address! I can be reached at
All images are copyright of Stampin' Up along with most of the paper and embellishments.

Monday, November 17, 2008

100th post giveaway by a fellow blogger

Just thought I'd pass this along to anyone interested. The Monogram Chick is having a giveaway.

As a means of celebration for her 100th post she is going to GIVEAWAY two of her "Favorite Things" a Monogrammed Preppy Travel Mug and Monogrammed Scraf.

Head over to her BLOG to get registered for the giveaway & be sure to mention that I sent you!

You can also order your monogrammed items for Christmas while you over there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ramon Noodle Slaw

There's been some discussion over the past couple of weeks about the Ramon Noodle Slaw my grandmother use to fix. Remembering Grandma fixing it when she lived accross from Aunt Eileen, my cousin has been craving it. It's been a little frustrating not being able to come up with her exact recipe. It would have been a shame for her to have actually written a few of her recipes down for future generations. But her philosophy was always "if you want to know how to make it then I suggest you come watch me fix it".

The best I've come up with is the following:

Boil 2C Vinegar, 2C Sugar, 1/2C Oil (we use Olive). Add to it 1/2 packet of Chicken Ramon Noodle seasoning. Allow the dressing to cool completely (make up night before and store in fridge).

Break noodles up and brown these along with 1 small package of slivered almonds in approx 2T butter over medium heat. Set aside.

Pour cooled dressing over 1 package of shredded cabbage. Allow this to sit for at least 1 hour. Toss with browned noodles/almonds prior to serving.

If you know this recipe and think I've left something out be sure to let me know! I'm a big onion fan so I add a few onions to it. I don't think Grandma added sunflower seeds but I've seen them added to a recipe similar to this.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New favorite shoes to wear...

I've found my new favorite shoes to wear. I'm a hot natured person and don't typically like lined shoes, but I LOVE these! And since they're clogs you can always kick them off for a few minutes if your feet get too warm and toasty.
I got mine from Amazon....they're Rocket Dog Fuzzy Wedges and come in Chestnut, Ligth Khaki and Black. The thick rubber heal is great. I wore them from 7am until 11pm a couple of days ago and my feet didn't bother me at all the entire day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Saluki Basketball

I attended the official season opening Southern Illinois University Saluki basketball game last night with Johnathon and my father. I haven't been in the arena in quite a while, it was fun to visit the old Alma mater.

This was Johnathon's first game (that he remembers anyway) at the arena. My boss let me use his season tickets (nice padded chairs none the less) since he's out of town and unable to attend. Great seats - hope he's out of town for a few more games this season!!

I'd forgotten the energy in the arena, not only from the students in the dog pound but also the general public in attendance. I'm glad I dug out a maroon t-shirt to wear. I don't remember that many people wearing SIU apparel when I was in school. I really think 75% of the crowd was proudly promoting our team last night, which was cool to see that many supporting the team.

With this being Johnathon's first Saluki B'ball game it was somewhat comical to "watch" him. He was confused at the beginning of the game as to why EVERYONE was standing - I had to explain the tradition of standing until there's a Saluki basket. He loved clapping along with the prep band - he has a wide motion clap that uses most of his upper body - just after the game started he informed me that his arms were really hurting (no kidding!) - so I showed him how to do a 20 calorie burning clap instead of his 1000 calorie burning clap. Of course as soon as he got excited again he reverted back to his old clapping habits.

He found the cheerleaders and shakers confusing..."why so many" and "what are shakers". After one of the shakers dances he figured out what "shakers" are, let me tell you - they were shakin'!! Before the game the grey Saluki mascot was right next to our seats (he giggled) when it went by. As the game started he spotted the brown Saluki mascot - he got all excited and said "Hey that dog changes colors...that's cool, how does it do that!" I let him figure out on his own that there were two dogs.

He was super charged when he got to see his first real dunk and then again when they had a breakaway down the court and successfully completed a behind the back pass/dunk combo. The gentlemen sitting next to us got a kick out of watching his excitement. Johnathon's a sports FANATIC, the great thing about taking him to sporting events is that he's there to watch every last minute of the game - no if's, and's or but's about it. It's all about the sports! When people started to leave the arena with 3-4 minutes left in the game, he looked at me and stated (not asked) "we're staying until the game is over and the buzzer goes off". Never once will you hear him say, can we just go home now when sports are involved.

The Saluki's won the game last night 66-52!
It was their first game in the 2K Sports Classic, if they win tonight they'll get to play in NY City in a week. It was a good night at the arena.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What I'm doing today

Later this afternoon I'm shooting pics in C'ville of a high school senior which I'm really looking forward to. The senior and her mother are a lot of fun to be around so it should be an energetic, creative the HS senior is absolutely beautiful which makes "my" pictures look even better!!

But until them I'm working on the edits from Lindsey & Ben's engagement session (which are almost complete), the last flag football game (which I haven't even looked at), Arielle's Homecoming session, Georgia's wedding, and Taylor's senior session. Once I get through many 100's of pictures I should be caught up (hehe, like that' really going to happen - me caught up - right!).

I make my Christmas cards every year and have started thinking about what I'd like to do this year, I must admit I'm kind of having a creative low.....nothing is "speaking" to me this year as far as the card design goes. The last two years I've included a family picture on the handmade, stamped card. We're going to attempt to get pics of the grandchildren on Veterans day. I'm not sure I want a picture on the card this year, but maybe the grandkids pics will get my creative juices flowing and I'll become inspired about a Christmas design.

I typically make between 120 and 150 cards which take me several weeks to get done (they're very detailed).....with no inspiration, I haven't even ordered supplies yet! If you're reading this and related to me, or on my card list - you'll get a card this year (promise), I'm just not sure when!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm currently sitting in my office drinking a caramel latte listening to classical holiday tunes on AOL Radio online. I love Christmas music, actually the whole Christmas season in general.

I have to create a table-top Christmas tree over the next couple of nights for a donation/give-away. I think I'll just go ahead and decorate my office while I'm at it.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Just returned from a short company sponsored shopping spree and lunch with Nina. Of course upon returning I had to check out the most recent blog posts and this caught my eye. It's "in the spotlight" on the Hostess with the Mostess Blog today.

I know what's for dinner at my house tonight. I soooo love eating traditional breakfast food at night.

Did I mention that I just returned from lunch and already I'm planning out my dinner! I wonder why I can't lose any weight!! But seriously, don't these look delicious.

Buy one get one FREE

Longaberger is having a great sale on the Small Loaf Dish.
On Wednesday, November 5th only they are buy one get one FREE and available in all of the pottery colors. Longaberger pottery is oven, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe.
You can purchase yours on my Longaberger Website.
These will make cute and inexpensive teacher's gifts or office/family exchange gifts (fill with candy, pens & notepad, stickers, homemade treats - wrap in celo and tie with a ribbon) and you'll get one for yourself also!

Editing Pics

Sorry I haven't been in blogland for a while. Things have been crazy busy around here. After the super hectic weekend with the outdoor wedding/Homecoming/cousin's wedding/cousin's retirement party/church decorating craze, I've done 5 seniors photo sessions and one engagement session. I love taking the pictures but editing them takes FOREVER and has been literally consuming all of my time!

Bottom line is that I'm going to have to figure out a way to decrease my workflow editing time. I have recently downloaded some tools from www. to help me with this, hopefully they work the way intended and don't add to my problem. To compound the situation I'm still extremely new to Photoshop CS3 and trying to self teach myself as I go along. I find I'm on the internet quite a bit looking up things, it's amazing how quickly time just vanishes when you're researching something on the internet.....

I've also noticed that I don't want to delete any of the pictures - most def going to have to get over this. I take a LOT of pics when I shoot a session which in part is due to inexperience in knowing exactly what shot I want and trusting that I actually got it. But then when I'm editing them I don't want to delete any of them even though many aren't near as good as the others, ughhhh I hate learning curves - I'm ready to be good at this!

Well enough of that, I think you get the picture as to where I've "been" lately. It's Monday morning and a new month which means I have lots and lots to do at CPI World Headquarters. So I'm sitting here drinking my second cup of Joe and blogging!!

I helped a friend move this weekend and now get to help decorate her new place - Hooray for Amy! I love decorating and can't wait to get started on that. She has to get a new couch and we're (being me, lol) thinks she needs a crimson red couch/sectional, so that's my other job for the week - find a red couch or sectional that I, oops she will like!

Well I think that's enough of my life at current for right now.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Special treat to me

I bought new flannel sheets yesterday, washed them when I got home, left them in the dryer until I was ready to go to bed......the temp got down to around 40 last night, it was only around 50 when I went to bed on new, warm flannel sheets.

Once the air conditioner is turned off my windows are opened, I had such a wonderful night's sleep with the cool breeze blowing on my head, all snuggled in flannel! Can hardly wait to crawl back into bed tonight!!

In fact I was so comfy this morning that I really didn't want to get out of bed!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another busy weekend

It's been another busy weekend around here! After 4 hours of flag football Saturday morning I had 2 senior photo sessions.

Last weekend I decorated an outdoor wedding for the loving couple, Georgia & Jack. I work with Georgia and wish them the best of luck in their new marriage.

The weekend before that I took Bart's senior pictures and finally finished up the edits and got those posted to my PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG along with a few more of Georgia & Jack's wedding.

I am happy to report that all swelling in my feet/ankles is gone! I twisted my ankle cleaning up the wedding last weekend and to add insult to injury....I ate a half a jar of pickles. For those who don't know me, I don't eat salt! Last weekend was exceptionally hot for October in So.IL with temp in the mid 80's and I'm pretty sure I failed to drink enough water, then consumed a lot of sodium and poof or rather puff. Everything was swollen!

I'll get a few from this weekend's senior sessions and flag football posted as soon as I get them edited. I'm also working on spreadsheets today for a board meeting later this week - fun, fun. I know deep down you're all jealous you're not spending your Sunday afternoon preparing for a board meeting!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sneak Peak of AJ

Here's a sneak peak from the little photo session I had with AJ. I'll have more posted on my PHOTOGRAPHY site in just a few minutes, still working on a few edits.

Isn't she adorable!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All hail the QUEEN!

Arielle is the 2008 Sesser-Valier Homecoming QUEEN!!
I'll get more pictures up later, just couldn't go to bed without making the announcement!
In fact I think she and I are going to do some pics tomorrow with the CROWN.
The candidates got to choose the song played as they were announced and walked in, she choose a song from Braveheart (which was her late father's favorite movie). When she was announced as Queen and had her first dance it was also from Braveheart, of those who understood the meaning of the song...I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Starting to feel old...

Just went to a meeting to start the talks about my 20th class reunion. Just thinking about that makes me start to feel old. Actually I don't think it's accurate to say that I feel "old" because I don't, I guess I just don't feel young anymore.

It's funny how when we graduated our ten year reunion seemed like it was sooooo far off and we didn't even think about the 20th. At the time of our graduation, the 20th was twice our life time away. People getting ready for their 20th seemed so much older when we were in high's amazing how fast the time has gone since we graduated.

I graduated from Sesser-Valier High School, class of 1989 with 56 other students. We have a WEBSITE to track our classmates, get ideas/suggestions, share the details of our reunion. Some of my classmates have started posting pictures from high school, yes we were in the age of BIG HAIR! I should be able to scan some pics next week, I'll keep you all up to date on the '89 Reunion details as they become available! We're still trying to reach everyone to log onto the website and give us suggestions on what they'd like for the reunion.

Missing in Action

Sorry I haven't been on blogland for a few days, things have been BUSY!!

I did three little photo sessions this weekend that I still need to get edited and posted. I'm decorating/catering/photographing an outdoor wedding on Saturday that is mentally draining me (and it's only 80 guests). The flowers are coming in tomorrow and we're putting the three tents up on Thursday. I know everything will turn out great, I'm just in that nervous/anxious state right now. So much of what I do at weddings I can't prep and do in by the weekend before the event until I get to start decorating I'm always stressed to the max.

In addition to the outdoor wedding on Saturday, my cousin is also getting married (which I'll just have time to stop at the reception to do my congrats), my cousin on the other side of the family is retiring and having a retirement party (which I'm also decorating!!), and two of my favorite cousins are both senior queen candidates for Homecoming which has their coronation late Saturday evening. Saturday should just be one fun-filled day!

Sunday I'll have to do clean-up (tent/table/chair removal) from the outdoor wedding and then I'll start all over on Monday. I'm meeting with another cousin Monday morning to look at a site for her wedding reception next summer and then I've got a senior pic session in the afternoon and photography class that night. I already have three photo sessions booked for next weekend and two for the weekend after that!!

Like I said at the beginning of this, I've been BUSY. I don't see a point in the near future in which I'm going to slow down but I've LOVING every minute of it!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I wanted to keep my "photography" pictures separate from my personal stuff so I decided to set up another blog.......PF Photography I haven't had a chance to make the blog "fancy" yet but I'll get to it.

My first non-family photo session was of a cute little boy with big blue eyes named Drake. I have a few of his pics up if you'd like to check them out.

The PF in my business name is short for pink flamingo which is kind of a mascot for our family, the name is in honor of my late grandmother who had a "thing" for the flamingo's!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Matt - Flag Football 1st Week

Matt's in kindergarten this year. Along with most of his classmates, he didn't quite get the concept of flag football. His father had set him straight on the non-tackle concept but Matt thought he was just suppose to "collect" flags each play. He did a good job getting flags, unfortunately they weren't attached to the player with the ball!
But seriously, who couldn't love a face like that.....

Here his flag fell off as he was running, so he turned around to pick it up and put it back on!

He's missing something on the instructions on how to "set", I'm pretty sure it didn't include flopping one arm backwards like that.

Katie - 1st Week Flag Football

Yes, that would be Katie doing her cheers on top of stacked up trash cans!

This cheer would be "I want a T-O-U-C-H down, down, down.
The little girls loved shimming down, down, down!!

Johnathon Flag Football - Week 1

Okay, I know I'm late getting these posted. These are Johnathon's first flag football game this season. He was injured in the last play of the game. There was contact between he and another kid and his glasses cut his upper eye lid. Hey, what's football without injuries! Luckily it wasn't anything serious, the glasses didn't even break.
The 3rd and 4th pics are of a touchdown catch!!