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Friday, July 18, 2014

why i still scrapbook...

I've been keeping journals and scrapbooks since I was a child. The year I got married was just about the time digital photo books were really becoming a thing.  It was then that I decided to make annual yearbooks to track and highlight the happenings of our daily life... and I now have tons of 12x12 photo books of our first years of marriage (and even one of our doggy's first year with us--her baby book, if you will!), and even more 8x8s chronicling our trips and special events.  I do love digital scrapbooking. Like, so much! There are drawbacks though:

Digital Scrapbook Cons:
-there have been glitches or technical problems that have required me to start over
-they can be quite expensive (our yearbooks are usually over $200)
-it's ordered when it's done, so there is no witnessing progress b/c it's all online
-once printed, you can't fix mistakes
-cannot easily incorporate keepsakes and artifacts, other than pictures or digital scans of items

Digital Scrapbook Pros:
-no messiness!
-making changes or edits is fairly simple while making the book
-sometimes coupons can make digital scrapbooks more afforable
-they are slim, and fit nicely with all the others on a shelf
-they are fairly durable

That said, I do still make the old fashioned scrapbooks.  It's just a habit/hobby I can't walk away from... and believe me, my pocket book and OCD tendencies wish I would!  I have always enjoyed markers, stickers, and papers. Always!  It's like my crack. Take me to Micheal's or Jo-Ann's or Hobby Lobby, and you can guarantee that I'll likely be in the scrapbook section...!  And there are drawbacks to manual scrapbooks too:

Manual Scrapbook Cons:
-expensive... it's a rabbit hole of goodies... and there is really no end... new papers, new products, new techniques...
-the scrapbooks usually wind up being very, very thick
-more often than not, looking at old books results in having to re-glue things
-it's very time consuming and very messy
-everyone thinks you'd LOVE to scrapbook their life, b/c hey, you scrapbook, and often offer to pay you to scrapbook for them (which literally makes me cringe and laugh simultaneously b/c yea right! do you know how much time, effort, thought and money goes into even one page, let alone a whole book!?!?)

Manual Scrapbook Pros:
-keepsakes and artifacts can be included
-some (if not most) mistakes can be corrected, or glued over
- it's a very tactically pleasing activity
-it decrease stress (except for the mess...)
-one's own creativity is the only real limit
Compiled with love and a little help from a kit!
Anyway, I guess I just wanted to encourage us old-fashioned types to go along with the new wave of scrapbooking, while never forgetting our true roots in the craft!

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

five strategies for finding significance...

Are you like me? Do you want to have more significance? Sometimes I feel like I'm missing the boat when it comes to being a person of value. If my autobiography was written would anyone want to read it? At the end of the day I live a normal life. So how can my normal be inspirational? 

Here's some ideas about how to live more significantly:

#1 Build Someone Up
I love sarcasm as much as the next person. Sarcasm is a close cousins of comedy and humor. The problem is when sarcasm becomes normal in an environment, it's pretty hard to have a compliment be taken seriously. Take the time to be the one person that rises above the sarcasm and secretly tells a person how great they are are. The reassurance will sink in and make that person reflect on the positive aspect you saw in them. It takes more effort and energy to build someone up then to tear them down.

#2 Remember Your Manners
Please and thank-you will get you practically anything you want with a smile. A few years back I had someone tell me that I forgot my manners. I would bark orders to my coworkers and my family. It was a reality check to hear the truth of my shortcomings. I had to own
the truth. Now, at work I have set up to "please police" to keep me in check if I forget my manners. With family and friends, why not add a please and thank you to routine requests.  My kids and husband appreciate my kinder approach as well.

#3 Pray for a Person
Everyone is in our lives for a reason whether it's for a blessing or a lesson. If someone has been a blessing in your life take the time to be thankful. A grateful heart actually makes you a happier person. If someone challenges you pray for them. Sometimes that is the only thing that you can do. Praying for the person that is difficult will inevitably help you feel more at peace. If someone has hurt you in a terrible way it is hard to pray for them. Forgive someone not because they deserve it; forgive someone because you deserve peace.

#4 Smile for a While
Mother Teresa once said that "peace begins with a smile." Sometimes a simple smile is the one thing that can change someone's heart. Your smile the one thing that crosses all barriers. It can be a new beginning even the toughest person. Remember the famous phrase that smile and the world will smile back at you. We don't see our own faces but other people do. What does your face reflect? Sometimes a smile can be the very thing that people remember you by. It will make a lasting difference in who you are.

#5 Change Perspective
I get frustrated at people and situations. At the end of the day, I want things my way and I can become angry. How to change this perspective is to rewrite the story. If you are in a traffic jam and somebody cuts you off then rewrite the story. Maybe they are on their way to see someone in the hospital or they are late for a crucial sales presentation. Use creativity and make up a scenario why they are so rude. Even if someone else's intention is wrong. It does not have to be taken that way in your brain. This is not excusing people for their bad behavior. It is helping you cope with the fact that some people are just difficult and there might be a reason why. Even if that reason is your "make believe" story.

After putting these five simple tips into practice. Your normal life just might be an inspiration that someone would want to read about. 

You are on this earth for a reason so make a difference while you are here - even if it's simple!

Significantly yours, 
Cara Lane
Communication Coach 

Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training. Check her out at here!

Friday, July 11, 2014

a baby shower for ellie...

My best friend had her baby a few days ago! She is the most precious little baby, and looks just like her big brother, Mason, when he was born! Remember when I threw his shower almost four years ago? Time is moving at warp speed!

We had her shower four weeks ago, and it was a lovely affair! We kept it small and simple. I am thrilled with the results!

Here's some pix from the day:
Invite: Front
Invite: Back

Making sugar cookies for the shower
Simple seating for casual dining
Loved the different textures & shades of pink and orange
The momma-to-be's backyard was the perfect venue
Presents for Ellie
Ellie's paternal grandma, Judy, helping setup

Cookie onsies party favors at each guests' place setting
Tasted as good as they looked!
More party favors
Shimmer gum balls in glassine bags
Place settings
The theme, "Ready To Pop" was perfect since
she was due only two weeks after the shower!
Brunch menu had the party game on the back, a
quiz about babies

So much yummy food on bright orange platters
Marshmallow pops!
Sweet simple cake
Cookies for Ellie Girl
Momma opening presents
All smiles while watching momma open presents
Party guests happened to wear bright, pretty colors
Aunt Becky, Ammy (maternal Grandma to Ellie) & Kirsten
Amanda & Lynsey. Amanda won
one of the "Ready to Pop" gift baskets which included
 soda pop, popcorn, Pop Rocks, lollipops, Sugar Daddys,
 Jr. Mints and a baby themed movie in a reusable,
clear acrylic popcorn box.
Lindsay & Lindsay: BFFs Since 1999
Momma holding her cake
Those darn cookies were so cute!
Lynsey with the hostesses: Me & my Mommma
Just one more pic of those adorable cookies! ;)
Thanks for stopping by!  Ellie is so perfect! Momma and baby are adjusting well... and big brother Mason is very sweet and attentive to his lil' sis!

Lindsay Bean

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

on a mission to collect ordinary moments...

And To Be Thoughtfully Happy For 100 Days In A Row!
If you read my last post, you already know that the last twelves months have held the highest highs and lowest lows of my life... I'd be lying if I said I came through it well (or that I'm "through" it at all).  The what-ifs and questions played on repeat like a skipping record in an abandoned house... And then one day an acquaintance posted on Facebook about taking the #100happydays challenge. Intrigued, I read up and I instantly jumped on board (and a few other friends joined the challenge with me!).

Not to be epic, but sadness and disparity aren't good for my soul. I don't enjoy those emotions. I try my best to be upbeat and humorous. It's just as easy to miserable, but far less healthy. #100happydays was, initially, strictly an opportunity to simply notice blessings... but along the way, believe it or not, I slowly started to feel better too. And it's not that I'm giving this challenge 100% of the credit for my emotional recovery. But, I did need to start noticing my blessings and what things, grand and small, that truly make me happy. So, every single day for 100 days I posted a picture or two of what makes me happy... And it turns out that between that and my daily gratitude journal, I am able to recognize and appreciate happiness again.  Since, I have decided to shoot for 365 days of happiness... A full year of thoughtful attention to my greatest personal resource!  Here are a few highlights of happiness (in an no particular order b/c of editing challenges!):

Day 11.2 | Dinner! So fresh & so clean, clean!
Day 5.2 | Seeing her nose and ears flying in the wind,
driving in the country... Pure happiness!
Day 5.3 | Sunsets make me happy, and nostalgic!
Day 15 | Nature!
Day 77 | My very handsome, creative, kind nephew 
Mason  & I got some one on one time this morning! It 
included a tour of his backyard, a dance party for two
to Happy, racing fast cars, playing golf in the kitchen,
swim lessons, chasing a squirrel and playing
 frisbee with Penny! Best morning ever!!
Day 14 | Gratitude & happiness are interchangeable
for these two! Literally, the two halves of my heart!
Day 26 | Spring break means sleeping in, furry
snuggles, Red Box movies in bed while
scrapbooking (subject: Penny) and coffee
throughout the morning! Alllll kinds of happy
Day 23 | Playing Easter bunny & delivering 500 
eggs to the Children's Home that my students stuffed
 with love & joy!! My heart is full!
Day 20 | Momma brought me a vase full flowers from 
her garden! And I get to keep the vase! 
My lucky, happy day!!
Day 18.1 | Longtime friends and mini college reunion
Day 18.2 | Babypalooza! Yesterday was a fun (tiring) 
day with all our college friends!
In short, I highly recommend you take this challenge.  Life is beautiful! Notice it! You can post photos to Facebook, Instagram or any other photo sharing social media outlet... and it's rewarding!

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