Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have a new obsession

And it has nothing to do with Scrapbooking but it could definitely benefit my scrapbooking.


I just learned how to do it, and I am still learning.  Take a peek at my new blog!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coupons, coupons, coupons!

I took a break from my crazy weekend to attend a BBQ whose main point was to teach anyone who was interested how to save money by super couponing.

Yes,  I said SUPER couponing.

I'm a single woman with no dependents other than my one paying attention to how much I spend on household items and/or groceries is not something I do.

I quickly learned today that if I actually started to pay attention and used the available coupons out there, I could in fact MAKE MONEY!

 What?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think I can almost see my money tree.....

It's going to take some time to learn how to do it well, but I feel a new blog coming your way soon:  Couponing for a Debt-Free Me!  

More to follow....

The drawback of living in a ground level apartment when a monsoon hits

This weekend Chicago suffered a mini-monsoon.  I was up late on Friday night/Saturday morning and had been reading through facebook that everyone was suffering with major flooding and power outages.  At 3am I commented that I was so lucky that nothing like that had ever happened to me.  I had no water in my place, so I went to bed.

Dum dum dum dum daaaaaaaaa......

Flash forward to 9:30am when I woke up screaming as I placed my feet onto the wet floor.
OH MY GOD!!!!!
I went into a serious panic as I'm trying to figure out how much water is in my house and how to keep my cat from coming onto the wet areas. I was frantic.  I couldn't even begin to prioritize what to look for/check on first.

After 20 minutes of crying and cursing over the inch of water in the majority my apartment (not the whole apartment), I started to worry that the water would continue rising and that both Charlie and I would be electrocuted in my house.  So I ran around the house and unplugged everything!  I also called my's always make you feel better.

Mom ordered me to bring Charlie to her house and to pick her up.  She was going to come and help me clean up.  Mom to the rescue!

By the time we made it back to my apartment with a dehumidifier, clorox, wet vacuum and old towels, most of the water had retreated.  My cousin and her twin 10 year olds also showed up ready to do what they could.  It was incredibly touching.  As I looked around and watched people sucking up water with the vacuum, walking around drying off furniture, etc....I realized how lucky I was.

Not only did I suffer minimal damage, but I got to see a glowing example of the incredible family I was born into.They are the best.

Thank you to everyone!

I'm still drying up the dampness in my house and I have a ton of stuff to wash.  Here's to a busy tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emma's note

Today I received my first (and probably last) letter from camp.  My adorable friend Emma has been busy dancing and will be coming home soon, so I'm actually quite touched to have received a letter at tall.  I heard from her mom that she has been working hard and gets back to her cabin absolutely exhausted!  I'm actually going to get to see her next week, so I can't wait to hear all about what she's learned and the friends she made.

Anyway.....I was super excited to come home and find the adorable handwriting of a teenage girl-addressed envelope.  You know what I'm talking about....that slightly bubbled curvy handprint.  Soooo cute!

I was most touched by her opening sentences: 

"OMG! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the quote book thing you made me.  I can not wait to show you what I did with it!" 

The color added to the text above is an exact duplicate of what I see on the paper :)  I can feel the excitement and genuine gratitude.  Here's a sneak peek at what the book looked like:

You can see a full description of the book in my other blog.

Emma's reaction is what I love about scrapbooking the most!  The genuine surprise at receiving something handmade and custom designed can cause a fun response.  I'm happy I was able to surprise sweet Emma.

I absolutely can't wait to see what she filled it with!

I can't wait to have more moments like these with Emma AND Finn!  Here's to a lifetime of funnies and love, Elsmos.  See you soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And another update (for my other blog)

I need to figure out how to best share my newest posts, but I wanted to make sure to make an update on both of my blogs this weekend (since I've disappeared for quite some time now).

Anyway, follow this link for a fun way to scrapbook photobooth strips for an event!

Scrapping for the Booths

A fun July

I have to admit, July has turned out to be a fun month with my friends and family (and their kids).

First of all, the Atluri clan has made their annual summer trip to Chicago.  All my godbaby's are in one city right now and I don't know what to do with myself.

First, we have M&M....Malena and Mateo who are now officially 19 months old.  Last time I saw them was in December for their first birthday, so they've grown soooo much!  Jaiden, their older brother, is in town too, but he's too busy running around to let me take a pic.  He's like the energizer bunny right now, and he's absolutely testing the limits with his parents.  Oh the joys of being three!  LOL!

Anyways, I took a Friday off from work so that I could spend sometime with the kids.  Jaiden ran around with his older cousins, so Jospehine (the mama) and I took to M&M to Target.  This was my view for the whole car ride:

How can you not want to eat these little faces!  Just adorable.  They are both getting over their stranger danger stage a bit, so it's been a little easier to steal one away from mom and dad to snuggle or go do something fun.  Malena has since gotten her ears pierced and loves showing off her earrings.  Such a diva already!

This past weekend, we all attended Noah's first birthday party.  All the parents are my friends from college, so it's a ton of fun when we all get together.  Here is my cutie pie, the birthday boy with his papa:

By next year's party, he'll have a little sister to contend soak up all the attention you can, Noah :)

Noah had a Noah's ark themed party.  There were kiddie pools for the kids to cool off in during the sunny portion of the day (it was boiling that day), then we had an ark-shaped cake (absolutely adorable) before the petting zoo arrived!  Oh my goodness was that fun.  Here are some fun shots of Noah, Malena, Mateo, Jaiden and new friends!

Jaiden and Mateo (in matching shirts) were sitting next to each other until this adorable little girl decided she wanted to sit in between them for cake.  LOL!  She got up on the bench and made them separate.

See the bucket of grain....Mateo and Malena had their little hands in there so fast.  They loved to feed the quack-quacks and baa-baas.  Squeals of delight!

Mateo and Jaiden also loved climbing the fence when no one was looking.  Someone had to race over to make sure they didn't fall in or fall off the fence!

The birthday boy and I had a little quiet time.  He was in such a great mood that day (except when everyone sang happy birthday - we startled him a bit).  I definitely need a little more time with him - he's growing so fast!

This butterfly stayed on Mrs. Farhan's shoulder for almost the entire time we were outside.  It was so content!

It's really hard to get Josephine to stand still for a bit for a photo (she's always running after one kid or another), but I was able to catch this moment with Mateo. 

Lastly, this is one of my favorite shots from the day.  Pramod called me over to see if I could catch this moment and I sure did!  Look at how brave Jaiden is in feeding the llama.  Super brave little boy!

I love my munchkins to death!  I can't wait to see you all again.  Hugs and Kisses!!!

The Backyard Ballet - June 17, 2010

 In mid-June, I received an invitation to attend a Backyard Ballet by the very graceful Emma.  This was the 2nd annual event whose proceeds benefited the Everybody Can Dance Workshop.  Here is a description of the workshop as noted on the back of the programs that night.

Each of our incredible dancers that night take classes at the Academy, and I was just amazed at how poised these young dancers were to celebrate this fun evening by doing good.  The donation basket was quietly placed near the popcorn.

Funny story about the popcorn: There was a cutie pie of  guest who was probably 3 or 4 years old.  He came running to the back to get some popcorn during the show, and at some point, he came back to talk to Chef Mel and announce to her that her popcorn was NOT right.  He proclaimed, "You're popcorn doesn't taste right. It's stale!"  I thought I was going to die of laughter.  I was officially crying because I was holding in my laughter so as to not disturb the dances.  Poor Chef Mel!  She had pre-prepared the popcorn and had it ready in the bags but the day's humidity seeped into the popcorn and made it stale.  It was pretty funny.

Anyway, here are some of the adorable dancers from that night.  It was incredible to see these little bodies fly through the air and float across the floor.  Just breath-taking!

Thank you so much for the invite girls!  I can't wait until next year's production!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nothing makes me happier/more calm than....

Well, my last post was about how I was stressing about a work situation.  I can't really change or determine what the outcome will be, so I decided I needed to unwind about the whole thing.  So what did I do?  I started (and finished) a scrapbook project for a special little friend named Emma!

Emma is the sweet daughter of my friend Mel and her hubby (my boss).  Emma and I have become closer in the last couple of months, and I have treasured the moments we've had so far.  My adorable new friend is an incredible dancer....a ballerina.....and she is currently at a dance camp in Michigan for the next couple of weeks.  I know her family is missing her dearly.

Here are a couple of photos of Emma and her friends dancing (some of which are at camp with her) in their 2nd annual backyard ballet.  It was AWESOME to watch the original choreography and experience the musical journey they created for all of us :)

[insert photo from backyard ballet here] - I was planning to insert some photos here, but I'd rather make a separate blog about the backyard ballet.  So take a peek's coming!

You can imagine how incredibly touched I was to get an email requesting my address so she could write to me!  How cute is that?!  I can't wait to get my first letter!

Anyway, I had had every intention of sending her a little something special for camp after remembering that her mom told me she journalled her experience - specifically notes on the techniques and new moves she is learning.  I remember thinking that this was incredibly mature for a 13 year old.  I mean, I don't ever remember being that serious about anything at her age.

Well.....we both have a love for So You Think You Can Dance, and last week's performance by Alex Wong made me too excited to wait to send her my special little something.  I had to write my first letter to her that night.  I hope she'll get to see the performance soon so we can chat about it.  I still have goosebumps when I see it.  Alex Wong is a classically trained ballet dancer who was completely out of his element when learning this routine.  He killed it!

You can watch the performance here!

Now that I've calmed down, I've managed to make the mini album that I wanted to make for Emma in the first place.  I wanted her to have a place where she could jot down the funny things her friends say at camp...this will be the mini silly journal to accompany her serious and larger dance journal.  I'll add pics of the quick mini book tomorrow.

I was so excited to use some of the ballet stickers I've had in my supplies for a couple of years now...I think it's just perfect that they'll be going to the beautiful and very graceful Emma!