Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm playing along with Katie again this week... we're never too busy to take a moment and give thanks for all of the wonderful things we have in this life!

Today I am the most thankful for the sunshine that's streaming in through my windows.  It may still be chilly outside, and the sunshine may not last very long, but I am enjoying it and appreciating it while it is here.  Think Spring!

I'm thankful that I was able to finish my twenty page paper in time for class yesterday... even though I procrastinated on it for weeks and weeks and waited until the very last minuted to finish it.  I guess I should be thankful that I work well under pressure?

I'm thankful that Travis started to clean the kitchen and get the laundry together last night while I was in class... two less things for me to do today.

And I'm thankful that the weekend is coming up, and that we don't have any real plans other than spending some time together, and with friends we haven't seen in awhile (can't wait to see you, Seth & Kel!) and kicking back.

What are you thankful for today?

PS)  I'm having a little giveaway over at my other blog.  If you're into papercrafting (scrapbooking, stamping, etc.) head over there and check it out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Catch Up!

It feels like I've been absent from this blog for waaaay longer than five days!  Maybe it's because I've been thinking about it so much!  I have been doing that, you see, been thinking about this blog.  A lot.  I continue to be sooo displeased with it!  I've started several posts over the past two weeks and just abandoned them... my ides for weekly themed posts have gone out the window... and to be honest not a lot has been going on for me to write about.  I'm so uninspired!

Travis and I were talking about this blog a few weeks ago while we were out to dinner.  I was griping about how unsatisfied I am with it... and he made an interesting point:  "You're good at writing, you're funny and interesting to read, so just forget about everything else and go with that."  Okay, this was three weeks ago and I can't remember exactly what he said... but it was certainly something along those lines.  And the part that got me even more is that even though I live with the man, and he knows everything and more about what I post here, he still keeps up with the blog because he likes hearing me tell our stories from my perspective.

So that got me thinking.  The reason I'm struggling so much with this blog is because of all the effort I'm putting into my craft blog... and how easily that comes to me.  You see, it's not difficult for me to write that blog.  I'm an artsy person, I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator, I've been teaching arts and crafts classes for years now.  I almost always have projects going on that I can post about, and that I enjoy sharing.  I'm so organized with that blog, and have such a wonderful core group of readers... I even have a weekly schedule that I keep to keep my posts organized and planned ahead (so unlike me to be anal retentive like that, I know!)

When I started this blog about a year and a half ago I didn't have an agenda, I didn't have a theme, and I had fun!  The more I learned about blogging though, the more amazing blogs I found with great, witty writing and interesting information and fabulous projects and thousands or readers...the more it grew to be a little intimidating.  What I'm realizing is, though, that although my life may not always be witty, fabulous, or even interesting... it's my life.  And I like my life!

So I'm not going to worry about who's reading and who's not, and how often I post and how often I don't.  It's part catharsis, part journaling, part connecting with friends old and new, and 100% Joanne.  Is that okay with you?  I think I'm good with this!  : )

Now with all ramblings aside... I figure if I'm going to be a better blogger so to speak, I should catch you up with a little bit of what's been going on around here...

We (Heather, Lily, Mariah and I) had an impromptu shopping afternoon... we bought shoes for Lily (seriously... baby shoes could possibly be one of the cutest things ever!) ate gourmet at the food court, and picked out some new (very brightly colored!) school duds for Mariah.  She's pretty hip you know...


And it looks like Lily is following in her sister's footsteps...

We celebrated Valentines quietly this year with homemade breakfast at home (monkey bread - yum!) and Travis' delicious pasta for dinner.  Travis got me beautiful roses, a daffodil plant (think Spring, think Spring!) and a massage gift certificate.  He's such a good man.




The one thing we did do was go to the Hot Tub Gardens in the afternoon.  Do you have a place like that near you?  We went for an hour and relaxed in an outdoor tub surrounded by evergreens with an outdoor fireplace and our own sound system.  It was fun and different... you should totally try it!  Very relaxing.

We actually have quite a lot of fun things coming up... we're especially looking forward to heading out to South Haven for a weekend with friends soon.  It will be nice to get out of town and have a change in scenery!  Right now I have a massive assignment due in class tomorrow night that I need to get to.  I've had weeks to work on it, and even set aside the entire day today to work on it.
I have yet to start.


Maybe I just need to accept the fact that I'm a procrastinator?  Some things may never change!  Until next time... wish us luck!  : )

(Beyonce is pretty supportive when it comes to homework... as you can see!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I know... I haven't been around much this week.  I'll explain soon...

But in the meantime, I decided to participate in Thankful Thursday over at Love & Lattes today, and I suggest that you do too!  We can all afford to take a little time to recognize and verbalize what we're thankful for.

Today I am thankful for the small things... the hot cup of coffee and delicious chocolate-y creamer that sits on my desk, the opportunity to share my love of stamping and crafting with a new group of ladies this evening, the pasta dish hubby and I will be cooking tonight that I've been looking forward to all week, and a little road trip with my BFF Heather tomorrow.

I am also thankful today for the big things in life... for my husband, family and friends, who guide me and listen to me and love me unconditionally.  And for my talents, even if I don't know how to use them all the time... for my ability to create, for my ability to write, for my ability to make music, and for my ability to advocate for others through non-profit work.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend in Review - The Superbowl Edition

So this weekend was really, really busy!  The Superbowl was just a small part of it... but I got some great shots during our little party that I wanted to share today.  I'll fill you in on the rest of the weekend a little later in the week!

We went over to the Hill's place for a little Superbowl party.  We had a great time!

 We made frozen peach margaritas... nothing to do with the Superbowl at all... but yummy all the same!



We had a nice little spread of food, complete with themed cupcakes (of course!)



We wore silly glasses!



We managed to get a cute photo of Trav and I!


We ate delicious ribs!

And we crafted!  Again, nothing to do with the Superbowl... but Heather and I aren't so much into football... can you tell?

Hope you all had a fun weekend!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pink Glove Dance

You know how I love bad group dancing and general silliness... well this one is for a great cause.  So fun!  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It's true, she can be a royal pain in my ass... but she is a beautiful dog, and incredibly loving, and we are truly blessed to have her in our lives.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Busy Day...

No Critics Choice to share today... if YOU have a movie, book, TV show, product, etc. etc. you'd like to share, please leave it in the comments - we'd love to hear!

I'm swamped today.  Lots of painting going on... can you tell?  : )

The next 24 hours are going to be crazy for me.  Remember how anal retentive I am about list-making?  I couldn't go to bed last night without writing my hour-by-hour list for today.  I was so scared I would forget something!

Wish me luck, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The "Looking Forward to..." List

In both high school and college, when I was bored in class, and tired, stressed, and ready for a break.  I would doodle lists in the back of my notebook or planner.  I would countdown the days until fun events, vacations, holidays, etc... as if to convince myself that they really were going to get here... and that school would be over, or at least on a break, soon enough.

As I've mentioned about a million times... I really hate this time of year.  Grey skies and wintery colds seem like they are never-ending.  So... here's my adult-life countdown to the things I'm looking forward to...

Impromptu Girls Night!  (1 day to go!)
Superbowl Party with Heather, Anthony, and Lily!  (3 days to go!)
My parents coming to visit (and dinner at Bombay Cuisine)!  (15 days to go!)

South Haven weekend at the condo celebrating belated birthday's for Trav and Kristen, and an early birthday for Heather (29 days to go!)

VEGAS!  (67 days to go!)

What are YOU looking forward to in the next few months?!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where I Live Wednesday: Giddings Ave

"Where I Live Wednesday" will feature a different place in Michigan each week.  It will start out very local, with the immediate area in which I live (different areas of town, my house, stores and restaurants, etc. etc.) and expand over time to include adventures to other places in the great state of Michigan.


I live on Giddings Ave, SE.  It's a one-way street.

 And I get really agitated when people drive the wrong way on it.  I swear that they are ALL doing it on purpose.  Just to bug me.


You can only park on one side of the street... which is unfortunate.

But it's a really good area for walking.


And there's a big park nearby.

And Bella likes that a lot.

: )

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Official! Vegas, HERE WE COME!

For (what seems like a) long time now, we've been planning a trip to Vegas.  And by "we" I mean myself and Travis, our friend Tim and his girlfriend Terri, and our two brothers, Will and Tyler.  I've never been to Vegas, and Travis has only been once when he was really little... so it's essentially our first trip.  We're REALLY excited!

We officially booked out flights last week - so we can start the rest of the planning!  We're getting a great deal at the Marriot Grand Chateau Vacation Villas, which are right next door to the Planet Hollywood complex on the strip.  We're getting a suite that sleeps all six of us - which is going to be a blast!

Tim and Terri will be coming from DC, Trav and I obviously from MI, my brother Will is in Austin, TX, and although Tyler is in Texas right now, he will most likely have moved (who knows where!) by then.  My point is that we all live far away from each other, so this trip is going to be a get together of epic proportions!

There will sure to be lots of quotations from "The Hangover" along the ways...

We fly out May 14 and return May 17 (Friday-Monday) and I'm already unbelievably excited!  So, friends who have been to Vegas, share your tips, recommendations and must-do's!  I can't wait to hear!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekend in Review

I'm still on the mend, but was able to do more than lay around on the couch this weekend... which was nice!

I worked on assembling flower headbands for my Mum to use in a show she is costuming at Siena Heights University...
We ordered delicious (and gigantic!) calzones from a nearby pizza joint... delish!
 We played The Office DVD Trivia Game.  Yup, we're awesome.  Travis won.
 We inherited an old school Nordic Track machine... more on this later (excuse the disaster in the basement... I'm re-doing my craft studio!
We took Bella to the park...
 And I made cupcakes... you can see more of my cupcakes HERE.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend!