Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, all! I hope that each of you had a wonderful time with your loved ones.

I finally finished the last of my gifts Friday night. Yippee!! Saturday, I started to feel sick (headache, fever, nausea) and actually left PIT halfway through my shift. (Thanks so much, Heather, JoAnna, and Julie!) I went home with the hope that I would feel well enough to drive to my parents after a long, much-needed nap. No such luck. I slept for about 5 hours and woke up with a low-grade fever and a still-thumping headache. I wrapped the remainder of my Christmas gifts, then went back to bed. Sunday, I slept in, took another nap, and finally felt well enough to drive to my parents by Sunday night. The weather decided to get nasty - from no-snow to white-out in a snap. I finally made it to my parents' house and was greeted at the door by Boots, our cat, who hasn't left my side since. Unfortunately, my late departure meant that I missed Christmas with my dad's family. Missed you guys!

Yesterday, my cousin, Chris, and his wife, Jennifer, hosted Christmas in their new home. In attendance: my mom's side of the family, Chris' dad's side of the family, and Jennifer's family. The food was incredible, and we had a lot of fun during our ornament exchange. After we got back to my parents' house, we had our family Christmas exchange. My mom liked her birdhouses, and my dad like his calendar and photo cube. (Yay!)

My mom and I got up early (5:30) to go shopping. Unfortunately, the store we wanted to go to, Swiss Plaza, didn't open until 8AM! So, we went to McDonald's for breakfast then went back home for a little while. We went back to the store, hoping to get some Hallmark ornaments at 50% off. We found out that they didn't carry this year's collection, so there weren't any ornaments to be had. (Just our luck!) We then went to a couple of small shops downtown - The Gathering House, Eidelweiss, and Faith and Life Bookstore - to see what treasures we could find. Neither of us bought much, but we had a good time together -- and that's all that matters! =)

I packed up the car and was ready to head out, when Eric decided to check my car for an antifreeze leak. (We had noticed a small puddle in the driveway the day before.) Sure enough, there is a small leak in my radiator hose. So, I won't be leaving until tomorrow afternoon, after Eric fixes my car. Thank heavens that I have a brother who's a mechanic!

Well, it's late, and I'm starting to ramble, so I'm going to go now. If I don't see you before then, have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where's the JOY?

I've been reminded that It's been a while since I last posted. Here's why: As Christmas draws nearer, the more stressed I get. Too much to do, too little time as usual. I had the best of intentions. I was going to make heartfelt gifts for my friends and family. I was going to make my Christmas cards and mail them by December 1st. (Since you haven't gotten one, you can guess how well that has worked out.) It's now the 20th of December, and I still have several gifts to finish and holiday cards a la Hallmark (sorry, Alice) to address and mail. I'm beginning to feel like the characters in all of those TV movies who hate Christmas. I don't really hate Christmas, but I hate that I've allowed the hustle-and-bustle and shopping and commercialism to take the JOY out of the season for me this year. I honestly can't wait for the 26th so I can relax. So, I apologize for the late cards, gifts, and lack of posting. I promise to do better in 2008.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's been a while...

Okay, okay, I know it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry! This last month has been incredibly busy with work and deadlines. Same old, same old for me...and not all that exciting for you, to be honest.

I leave tomorrow for my parents' house for Thanksgiving. We'll be having our traditional gathering with my Dad's extended family. We'll also have the annual Skinner Family Round-Robin Ornament Exchange. It's every man, woman, and child for themselves! Even my grandma has been known to "steal" an ornament from one of the younger family members. It's all in good fun, of course! We look forward to it every year. Depending on how many of us are able to make it (think it was close to 50 last year), it could take a couple of hours to finish the game! Good times!!

God bless and have a happy Turkey Day with your families!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ScrapFest'07 Recap

I know that this is about a month late, but better late than never, right? ;)

Well, my best friend, Heather, and I attended ScrapFest'07 at the Mall of America in September. It was incredible! Most of the major scrapbook manufacturers had booths where you could do free make 'n takes. Some were simple cards, but a lot of them were small projects, mini books, or layouts. There were also oppotunities to take classes taught by some of the industries' top designers like Heidi Grace, Tim Holtz, Elsie Flanigan, Marah Johnson, and Heidi Swapp. Heather and I were able to get into a Disney class by EK Success. It's a cute little mini book.

After our class, we started the make 'n take rounds. While waiting in line at the Fiskars booth, Heather and I had the opportunity to meet Heidi Grace. She was so super sweet! (She's one of my favorite designers, so I'm really glad that I didn't ramble and blubber like a complete idiot!) We were able to talk to her for quite a while about her upcoming releases and life in general. She's currently working on her 2008 paper lines and is expecting a new little girl in early '08. (Congrats, Heidi!)

Friday night, Heather and I attended a crop night sponsored by Fiskars. They provided an incredible dinner catered by Famous Dave's, goodie bags full of munchies and a custom-made ScrapFest '07 stamp, and an exclusive make 'n take. Since Heidi Grace Designs and Cloud9 Designs are both manufactured and/or distributed by Fiskars, Heidi and Amy & Nancy (Cloud9) were on-hand for part of the night, too. Since there were literally thousands of women attending ScrapFest that weekend, I was sure there was no way that Heidi would remember who we were. I was so surprised when she came over to say hello! We were also introduced to Amy & Nancy from Cloud9 Designs. Well, Heather and I really wanted to have our pictures taken with Heidi and "The Cloud9 Girls," but we were too chicken to ask. However, once one of the Fiskateers announced that the designers were available for pictures, Heather and I were both up lickety split! We had so much fun that night. True to form, I didn't get much done at the crop, but we had a really good time. And that's all that matters, right?

Saturday, Heather and I did the rest of the make 'n takes that we were interested in doing but hadn't had time for on Friday...and then went shopping! (We were at the Mall of America, afterall!) We also went to the IKEA across the street from MOA. It's only about 1/3 the size of the one in Schaumburg, IL, so there were things that we weren't able to find. That was a little disappointing, but I was able to stock-up on the highly coveted button jars. ;)

It was an absolutely fantastic girls' weekend. Thanks, Heather!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Fun Website

I was browsing the website of one of my favorite scrapbook companies, Cosmo Cricket, and ran across an article explaining how they came up with the name of their company. The company is the brainchild of owners/designers Eric and Julie Comstock. When trying to come up with a name for their new company, they each put their name into a website called ( It takes the information you put in (your name, favorite band, whatever) and uses the letters to create a different word(s). Well, none of Julie's combinations made much sense - at least not for a company name. Eric tried his name, Eric Comstock, and Cosmo Cricket was born. Just for fun, I tried my first and last names. My best combo is "Mulberry Chile." If I ever start my own company, I think I'll use that for it's name. Try it out for fun and let me know what you find.

Monday, October 1, 2007


A couple of people have asked that I post some pictures on my blog. I'm working on editing some pics, so stay tuned. (After looking at my headshot, I realized that it's really time to get an updated picture. Photo op, anyone?)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Week Of Premiers

This is one of my favorite times of year...all of the fall season premiers. I have been eagerly anticipating some of my favorites all summer -- CSI Miami, Ugly Betty, and Grey's just to name a few. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not a complete couch potato. The fact is, I'm rarely ever home. But, when I am, my TV is usually on. Mostly just for noise. Noise to block out the neighbors. Back to the premiers. CSI Miami was good, though somewhat predictable. Ugly Betty's last 3 minutes threw me for a loop. I'm still not sure what to think. Maybe it's denial of the obvious. Grey's...what to say. Wonderful writing as usual. Derek and Meredith. Wow...didn't see that one coming, though I probably should have.

Today, Kimber McGray taught a class at Pages In Time, and I had the opportunity to be her TA (Teacher's Assistant). For more info, see Pictures of the book are in the September 7 post. I love the look of new acrylic books. Ideas, ideas. I see Christmas gifts...


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, Monday

Have you every had one of those days where anything that could go wrong did? That was today. Okay, not exactly. But it was definitely what one would call a "typical Monday." Not sure what else to say at this point other than..I hope tomorrow is better. Keep your fingers crossed...