Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Memories Scrapbook software review {and giveaway!}

I used to be an avid scrapbooker.  I created a book every year that we were married.  I loved the creative process, and having a keepsake of our lives.

Over time, I found myself scrapping less and less.

FB and the blog had a lot to do with it.  My blog is kind of like my scrapbook now.  But I still miss having actual books to pull out and look through now and then and I miss the creative and cute layout ideas I used to arrange my pictures in a scrapbook.

I have looked and looked for a digital scrapbooking program that  I liked, but I never could find one that was suitable for MAC and had all the things I was looking for.  This software has two versions, one for Mac and the other for Windows.  You choose which one you want to download after purchase.

I was contacted by the company My Memories Digital Scrapbooking and asked if I would like to try their product.

I replied and told them of course!  So I downloaded the My Memories Suite and started playing around with it.

What a cool program!

I made this page in just a few minutes time, with some free elements I got off of the My Memories website for free!

They also have some great designer kits that you can purchase as well.  You can also use Photoshop Elements with it as well.

I found this software extremely easy to use.  I was able to use my own scrapbook kits with it, as well as the free elements I downloaded from their website.  If you find digital scrapbooking daunting, this software is for you!  The My Memories website is full of easy to understand video tutorials as well.  It only took me a few minutes to make the page above!

This is going to put me well on my way to creating cute scrapbooks that I can print out and share again.

My Memories has given me one Digital Scrapbook software to give away to one of my readers!

Here's the deal:

For one entry, visit My and take a look around their site.  Come back here and leave a comment letting me know which of the digital kits or layouts are your favorite.  You must do this step to be entered in the drawing.

For one extra entry you can follow their blog:

For one extra entry follow them on FaceBook

Or Twitter:

So that is four possible entries per person.  Please leave one comment per entry (one comment letting me know your favorite product, another comment letting me know you follow their blog, etc.)

I will keep the giveaway open until this Friday, September 2nd and then I will randomly choose a winner.

If you don't win a copy of the software, My Memories also gave me a Promo code to give out to all of my readers that will save you $10.00 off the price of the software, plus a $10.00 coupon to use in the My Memories store.  That's a $20.00 value!


To order the software, go HERE and use this Promo code:


Happy Scrapping!

My Memories provided me with my memories suite digital scrapbook software to try and one program to giveaway.  

I received a complimentary copy of this software to try in exchange for an honest review/opinion. I received no monetary compensation.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Change is Hard

I have never done transitions well.

I don't like change.

As a kid I used to dread the ending of the school year and the start of summer.  Not because I didn't like summer, because hello, what's not to like about summer when you are a kid?  No, it was because my routine completely changed. I didn't get up at the same time.  I didn't get to see my friends every day.  I didn't have a schedule to follow.  All of those changes left me feeling very apprehensive.

I have always had a hard time when my routine is disrupted.

You can probably see where this is going.

I am having a hard time adjusting to my new job.

I was expecting this to happen.  It doesn't make it any easier.

In the end this job will be a great thing for me. I know this.  I will adapt.

Everyone tells me to just give it time.  But I am impatient.  I want things to be easier now.  I really need to get over that.

But last week was rough.  I am exhausted from it.

So exhausted.

I have so much to do and so little energy left to actually do it.

I'm supposed to do a giveaway for some scrapbook software that I was given to review.

I want to do a post about an awesome fundraiser that my friends are having to help bring home their second child.

My car is a disaster and badly needs a washing and to be cleaned out.

I should plan out our menus for the week.

None of those things will likely happen this weekend.  I'm just too tired.

The second week at my new job will be better.

My thoughts and prayers are going out to everyone on the East Coast who is in Irene's path.  I have lots of bloggy friends out there who might be affected and I pray they all stay safe.  Stay safe bloggy friends!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


A lot has been going on the last week or so.

The most notable being that I got a new job!  I have been looking for a few months(actually more like 6 months but only aggressively for the last three).

I went on a lot of interviews.  I was only offerred one of those jobs and it didn't have medical benefits so I couldn't accept the position.  Other than that I had a lot of interest in the form of interviews, but no actual offers.  It was disappointing.

There was one particular job that I interviewed for that I really, really wanted.  The pay was better than my current job but what really made the job stand out was their benefit package.

At my current job, when I started working there 4 years ago (almost exactly four years ago-can you believe it?)  we had benefits.  One week of vacation pay, paid holidays, health insurance and retirement.  As the economy took a down turn, our benefits were slowly taken away.  First our vacation pay went.  Then the paid holidays. Next we had to pay for half our health insurance. Finally the retirement plan was halted.  While I understood the need for some of these things, as business had slowed considerably, it  sucked.  Big time.  Coming from my last job where I worked for a very large company with an excellent benefits package, this was hard for me to swallow.  I began to feel bitter about it and I felt a general negativity towards the job in general.  I made a pact with myself that I was going to find a job that offerred up some of the benefits that my current job used to offer.

So, back to this job.  I went in for an interview and met with the office manager and the financial person.  That interview went for 2 and a half hours!  I have ever been on an interview that long and it felt promising.  Then they asked me to come back and do a "working interview".  So the next day I went and worked 3 and a half hours in the office.  I loved it there.  The office is beautiful  and I felt like clicked with the girls.  I was very aggressive about pursuing this job. I sent thank you notes to everyone in the office that I had come into contact with(which I would have done anyway). I called to follow up, not once, not twice, but three times.  It is not like me to be so aggressive.  But I have a really great group of women that I get advice from and they suggested I really let them know that I was interested in the position and that I was the one they should hire.

Well I didn't get the job.  The financial person said he admired my confidence ( I told him he would be sorry if he didn't hire me), and that they were still interviewing and that he would call me either way.

He never called. Why do they do that?  Why do they say they will call either way and then they don't?  It's rude.

 I was so bummed.

I went on with life and put that job out of my mind, determined to find another job with similar benefits.

No luck.

Then one day, out of the blue a week and  half ago I get this message on my cell phone from the office manager at that office.

The message went like this:

 "This is so-and-so from so-and-so's office, I don't know it you remember me (Ummmm...of course I remember you.  I worked there for half a day...LOL), and anyway, it came down to you and one other person for the position we had open and we hired the other person.  Well she didn't work out, and would you be interested in meeting with me again?  If you already found another job, or you don't want to I understand.  But when the position became open again your name was the first to pop into my head, because I liked you very much and I think you would be a good fit for this job."

I have to admit for a minute I was like "Ha!  See?  you should have hired me in the first place, and why would I want to come meet with you again, after you gave me the run around the first time?"

And then the logical side of my brain overtook the emotional side and I called her back and said

"Yes, I would LOVE to come and meet with you again and I am still interested in the position."

Insert one very long, emotional week while they did background checks(not that I was worried about that), and reference checks and a bunch of administrative mumbo jumbo until finally on Wednesday they called and offerred me the position.

Was I second choice?  (Or as my co-worker put it "Their sloppy seconds".  Nice).

Yes I was.  Does it matter?  Nope.  In the end I got the job and that's all that matters to me.

I started on Friday.

If I could do any part of it differently, the only thing I would change is how things ended with my current employer.   I wasn't able to give any notice, and I regret that.  This position needed someone to start immediately.

My current job knew I had been looking for some time.  At one point I was told that I wouldn't be replaced right away(although that was before our busy spell that occurs in late summer).  My leaving is creating a lot more work for everyone that is left behind, especially my co-worker.  I regret that.

If I had been able to give more (well, any) notice I would have.  I simply couldn't pass up this opportunity.  I had to do what was right for me and I did.

Unfortunately there were hurt feelings and resentments between me and my co-worker.  I could have handled a few things differently.  But when I left my current office on my last day I got a cursory goodbye from my co-worker and my last paycheck and a pat on the back from my boss, and that was it.

Thankfully my other co-workers were very forthcoming in their sadness to see me go, which made me feel somewhat better.

But I worked there four years and it would have been nice to have had a pleasant send off and some  "sorry to see you go, but good luck" sentiments.

Oh well.  It is what it is and I need to look forward now.

Thus begins my first full week of work at my new job.  Wish me luck!

P.S., as for benefits, they almost equal the benefits I had at my last job.

3 weeks paid time off
9 paid holidays
Medical insurance completely covered, with the option to add a spouse or family member.
401 K retirement plan

Plus it's a completely different type of office (dermatology), so I am excited about learning some new things.

AND, the drug reps cater lunches for the staff twice a week!  How cool is that?

I feel good about this new chapter in my life and I am excited to see where this job takes me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This summer has really been flying by.  I can't believe it is almost September and the kids will be going back to school.

We have had a really fabulous summer.

As I look back on the blog over the last 8 or 9 weeks, we have gotten to do some really fun things this summer.  I'm so grateful for it, as last summer was dismal and I have nothing but bad memories of it.

But that is not the case for this summer.

Yesterday I got to go and hang with my friend Joannah and finally meet the most beautiful baby in the whole world.  I might be a tad  biased.  But seriously, she is precious.  And how fun is Gymboree for little ones? Do those of you with kids have experience with this?  I have vague memories of attending a class or two when Cameron was a little guy, and yesterday had the opportunity to attend a class with Joannah and Michaela too.   So fun!  It actually made me a little wistful for my preschool teacher days.  Singing songs at circle time was one of my favorite parts of that job.  It has been a long while since I sat in a circle with a group of children singing songs and it brought back some good memories.  Even if the children were babies of only a few months old and had no recollection of what just occurred.  :)  It was fun. And very peaceful.

Afterwards I went for a walk with a friend down at the beach (thanks Carla!) and had a fabulous chat with her as well.  You are a good friend to me Carla!

Also very peaceful.  I could use some peace in my life right now.

What have you all been doing this summer?  Anything fun?

Not much on the agenda for today, except to plan out our meals for the week, and go for a bike ride.

Also, do some laundry and basically prepare myself for my first full week at my new job.

Oh yeah. Did I forgot to mention I got a new job?    :0

I have a whole post on that coming tomorrow.

Enjoy your Sunday!

P.S.  Can anyone tell me why all of my pictures from previous posts (like 8 or 9 posts ago) have disappeared and been replaced by a black box with an exclamation point?  This has me very upset!  I will take me days to re-upload those pictures into those posts!  Google has been no help at at all.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Mostly just pictures today.  DeAnn and I went to the Fair yesterday.  We had fun.

Such a cute display in the tent

Love, love love this bunting idea.  Perfect for a party.

I have been looking into ways I can grow things on our balcony.  I am doing this for sure!  Hanging herb garden in soft drink bottles.  Love it!

Baby animals are always cute

So sweet

This guy was handsome

Baby cows.  So cute.

No piglets this year.  Bummer.

Hydroponics.  Joe wants to do this too.

Tribal masks and totem poles.  Had no idea these were popular. Or maybe they aren't?  LOL

Funnel cake.  Mmmmmmm.

Fair food.  Yum.

G Force
We rode this.  It was hard core.  But the sky ride we were on when I took this scared me more. 

On Saturday we went to a 40th birthday party. I saw this online and wanted to try it. 
I couldn't fit 40 suckers in the bouquet.  I still think it's cute.

I made this necklace that I saw on Pinterest as a gift.  I like the way it turned out.  I am going to play around and make a couple more.  I want one for myself.

I think it turned out cute

My new favorite picture of us.  Taken at the party.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

I am loving this weather we are having.  It has been unseasonably cool over the last couple of weeks.  I know people who aren't as happy with it as I am.  They miss the heat that August usually brings us but not me.  I hate heat. This weather suits me fine.

Just off the heels of hurting my back last week, I injured my knee on Saturday night.

Joe and  I were getting ready to go to a party.  We were running late because I was finishing up the gift I was making (procrastinate much?).  Anyway, we were getting ready to head out the door when I got up off the couch and slammed my knee into the corner of the coffee table.  I can't tell you how much that hurt.  Well I can. And I will.  It hurt bad.  I actually saw stars.  I was crying and sitting on the floor and almost hyperventilating it hurt so bad.  I put some ice on it immediately but it swelled up pretty good. Thankfully I was wearing a skirt so you couldn't see it.

Of course we were late to the party and missed the surprise part of it.  Oh well.  It was still a fun party.

It has been very swollen and stiff ever since and I can hardly bend it.  Walking isn't that big of a problem but the stairs to our apartment are a pain.  Literally. Hopefully it will be on the mend soon.

I am a danger to myself.

I mean really?  How is it possible for one person to hurt themselves so often?  Joe calls it Klutzy.  I prefer the term injury prone.  :)

I have been wanting to get into a more regular exercise schedule and these injuries are making it very difficult.

Maybe I should just wrap myself in bubble wrap. Or as one of my FB friends suggested, a blow up Sumo wrestlers suit.

Here's a kind of sweet story that happened last night.

I came out of the bedroom last night and Joe was talking on the phone.

This is strange for two reasons:

1.  Joe never answers the phone.  He doesn't even answer it when I call.  I usually have to call twice before he manages to locate his phone, see that it's me and answer it.

2.  It was 10:00 at night.  No one calls us that late, unless it's an emergency.

So I was alarmed when I saw him talking on the phone.  He was only on for a minute or so and then he hung up.

I asked him who he had been  talking to and he said "Paula's Mom".

I asked him who the heck was that?  We don't know anyone named Paula and even  if we did he certainly has no reason to be talking to her Mom at 10:00 at night.

He explained that it is an elderly lady that calls his cell phone a few times a week looking for her daughter Paula.  Each time he tells her it's the wrong number but she keeps calling anyway.

Sometimes he talks to her for a few minutes before telling her again that she has the wrong number.

He said this has been going on for 4 months now.   She often leaves messages for Paula on his voicemail as well.

Once she called and asked where Paula was and he told her "Paula doesn't live here".

She got all upset and asked "Why?  Did you kick her out?  Why would you do that to my Paula?"

He explained again that she had the wrong number and Paula had never lived there.  She apologized for taking his time and  hung up.

She obviously suffers from some sort of dementia and her daughter's number must be a number or two off from Joe's cell phone number.  Sometimes she tells him about a phone conversation she had with Paula earlier in the day so it seems as if she does get a hold of her daughter at the right number occasionally.  At least I hope that's the case.

Joe said that lately if he sees that it is her calling he will make an effort to pick up the phone and talk to her for a few minutes because he feels she is lonely.

I think that's so sweet of him.  He could become annoyed at the frequent calls and be rude to  her, or  even go so far as to block her number from his phone.

But he doesn't do either of those things.  Instead he answers it and talks to an old woman that he doesn't even know and acts like it the most natural thing in the world when I ask who is calling so late on a weeknight and say "Oh, it's just Paula's Mom".

He has such a good heart.

I am headed to the fair later to eat some fried food.  It's the last week so DeAnn and I are going to go hang for a couple of hours.  Should be fun.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

Don't you hate it when you have a terrifically fantastic weekend and then a crappy week to follow?

I do.

But that's exactly what is happening to me this week.

What I want to be doing is basking in the glory of our fabulous weekend at the dragon boat races and enjoying my day off.

Instead I am lying flat on my back in pain sweating because I threw my back out and our air conditioner is broken.

Blahhhhhhhh.  That pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole thing.

After the races my back was fine. I mean, I was sore, which is normal, but my back was alright.  Then Monday at lunch I was sitting in my chair at lunch and I twisted around to get something out of the microwave and bam-I felt sharp shooting pain in my lower left back (which is always the place I throw it out).

Owwww........... immediately I couldn't stand upright.


Can someone please tell me how I can paddle vigorously in a boat for 11 weeks straight and then participate in 2 days of the most intense  physical exercise I have ever experienced and come out fine but then simply twist in my chair at work and completely throw my back out???

I mean surely my back was already weakened from the paddling right?

Otherwise I feel totally lame.

So I have been flat on my back in bed ever since(well I did go to work yesterday but it took a whole lot of Tylenol to make it through the day and I had to leave early).

Then to top it off I got home yesterday and it was 87 degrees inside our apartment.  Joe said he had called maintenance but they had a lot of "emergencies" and were unable to get to us before 5:00 yesterday.

Whatever.  Obviously they haven't seen the mood it puts me in to be in horrible pain while simultaneously sweating profusely.  Now THAT'S an emergency.  LOL.

Joe tried to appease me with ice packs and shave ices but I was miserable.  Finally I took a muscle relaxant and called it a night at around 9:30 or so.

They better get their butts out here to fix it today.  Just sayin'.

Since I'm home and can't really do anything much more than watch t.v or perch the laptop on my stomach and surf the internet I thought I would participate in Black and White Wednesday this week.

One of our dragon boat team mates took this picture of us in the tent at the races.  I love this picture.  It's a great shot of Joe and me.

What I didn't love about it was that I am wearing very little makeup and my face has this ruddy/red look because of my sunburn.   (How vain, right?)

Black and White pictures tend to hide a multitude of flaws so I turned it B&W.  I can't decide if I like it better in B&W or not.  What do you think?

Here's the original

I think I am going to try taking another muscle relaxant and take a nap with an ice pack.  Oh how I hope this episode passes quickly.  Last summer when this happened I was in pain for several months.  Blech.

Anyone here have back problems?  What are some of the ways you get relief?

For more Black and white Wednesday shots, head over to The Long Road to China {and back}