Sunday, April 16, 2017

Start Scrapbooking

Photo journaling, scrapbooking, and saving your memories to any media are really all the same thing. For this post, I'm going to call it all scrapbooking. The importance of this is YOUR story! It's not the bling or how fancy it is.

The secret is to document your life, your fun, your story. That's it! I still love albums. I haven't gone digital, they just aren't the same for me. You need to pick which way works best for you and then go for it.

Select the photos for the event you want to start with

  • If you have a lot of photos (say for a family reunion or a very long vacation) you might want to fill up one album for that event. 
  • If you have 10 or so photos then you would just want to do a two page layout 

Pick your album or digital software.
Pick your paper to match your photos/event

  • For example, if you are going to save your Easter photos and stories you might want to pick Easter related paper. There are some really beautiful papers out there with crosses, lilies, Christian sayings, Easter bunnies, eggs or just pastel colors. Pick what you like, but make sure you get a couple of pieces of each. 

Look through all of your photos and determine which ones you are going to use. You DO NOT have to use them all. Remember, a picture is worth 1,000 words! If you can't see grandma's face, how will anyone else ever know who it is? If that picture of little Sally finding the egg in the grass is almost just like the other pic of her finding an egg, pick the best one and use that.

I love to use what is called color blocking. I cut a piece of cardstock or pattern paper 1/4" larger than my photo and adhere (stick) the photo to the paper. To do this be sure to use a double sided adhesive. I do not recommend glue or a glue stick. Glue tends to warp or wrinkle the photo and paper and glue sticks don't seem to hold.

Now I place the framed photos on my background paper until I like the arrangement. I add a border and title, The next piece is the most important.

I write out the story behind the photos. Be sure to include who, what, when, where and why. You will remember possibly for years, the answers to these questions, but others won't know them. Pretend you are writing to the future. Tell them about the event and the people.

A few hints:

  • Don't cut your photos into odd shapes when you are beginning. I've been teaching scrapbooking for 20 years and I ask over and over people's greatest regret. It's always that they cut their photos too small or into odd shapes
  • The second regret is that they used too many stickers or embellishments (decorations) on the pages.
  • The third one - and actually it's probably even with #1 - is that they wish they would have written more with the photos. More story, more information and more of their own handwriting! 
How much would you love to have your grandmother or even great-great grandmothers diary? That's how much future generations would love to see yours. 

There you go. Stick the photos and title to your page. Add the journaling (what you write about the photos) and you are done! If you want you can add an embellishment or two to jazz it up a little. 


If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me. I've included a very simple sketch below as inspiration. The squares and rectangles are where you might put a photo or you could use one of the spaces to journal (or write about) your photos. If you don't have smaller photos you could use the smaller spaces for embellishments or for notes.The darkened bar down the left and right side is simply a 2" wide piece of decorative paper as decoration.

Friday, December 2, 2016


I just spent a lovely day with my beautiful daughter and her 90 year old grandmother in law. This amazing woman is one of the kindest and most sincere people I know. She is gentle and caring and loved being the center of attention today. I'm home now and contemplating the wisdom she has obtained over her life. Ninety is quite the accomplishment. I find myself wanting to spend time with her and learn from her.

My own grandmothers are gone and neither were very good at sharing or discussing much other than the weather or maybe their garden. I would love to sit with them and hear their childhood stories, what brought them joy and what wisdom they would like to leave for future generations. It's not possible though.

They didn't leave a diary or journal of any kind. They didn't talk much and both died fairly young. Social media has done a lot of good in that people can communicate quicker and share more. It has also reduced the art of communication to smiley faces and hearts. When was the last time you sat and talked?

I took the time this past weekend to actually schedule time with some people that I wanted to get to know better. I put away my phone and listened. It was amazing. I'm going to do it more often. It's so easy to get caught up in the world and in the craziness. Work takes up a huge chunk of our day and so does sleep. What do you do with the rest of it? Do your race to the weekend to get the yard done, the garage cleaned, the shopping finished so you are ready for Monday so you can complain all week that you can't wait for Friday?


Smell the roses.
See the bees, dragonflies, tiny little flowers and the smiles of the children around you.
Take time to make a date with someone you care about.
Take a walk
Make a to do or want to do list and actually start it

Drink some Thieves tea :)
1cup hot water
1 drop Thieves
2 drops orange
1 drop lemon
Honey to taste

Did your grandmother ever swear by bourbon/whiskey or some other alcohol in tea when sick? Mine did and she was right. A little honey whiskey in this tea and not only do I sleep better but my cough is reduced!

I use ONLY Young Living essential oils as I'm confident in their purity and rely on them for my family.  To learn more, just click here:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to my very first convention. It was AMAZING!!! I belong to the Young Living Essential Oil community, but only know a few people that use the oils. I ended up connecting with a member from four hours away and we carpooled with two more from Minneapolis, MN to Salt Lake City, Utah! What a trip!

The event and people inspired me to get off my butt and do something! About 7 years ago some very difficult events took place. It has taken me years to begin to feel like myself again. Going to this event was such a boost up! I'm encouraged and feeling creative and energetic. I'm sharing it here to keep me accountable, to hopefully find others that are trying to come back from some serious struggles and put their life back together and yet others that might be interested in what I have to share. Which, of course, will really encourage me to keep going :)

I will teach essential oil classes locally and will develop an online presence as well.
  • I'm not sure where I will share these from, keep checking back here :) Post to me if you have any suggestions or questions!
I will implement a set schedule of activities to include two family date nights a month, one make and take night, and one just for me activity.
  • These will be local, but if you would like me to share them with you, please reach out and let me know and I'll try to share the information online
I will continue 1/2 hour of personal growth every morning -
  •  I'm always open to suggestions! What do you love? 

And to continue the life group every Friday - this is just a local thing


I don't know if anyone will ever read this, but if you do, could you please comment and encourage me on this endeavor? I know others out there have to have gone through trials as difficult as I have and understand how hard it is to get going again. I've felt so empty for so long, it's hard to find the umph to put myself out there again.

Just as hard is me asking for you to come alongside me and encourage me. I tend to take things in stride and just keep piling them on my own shoulders rather than lean on anyone else and/or burden them. So, I never ask others.

I'm asking and look forward to reading any and all comments and suggestions.

Thank you!

Here are a few places to learn about the convention:

Here are some articles covering the event:
This is me at the Salt Palace!

 Looking down at the presenters. What an amazing presentation and experience!

This beautiful photo of lavender was taken at the Young Living farm! 

One of the amazing women that encouraged me to go after my dreams and her husband (Yong Living Diamonds Vanessa Romero and Tom Nikkola)

Monday, May 30, 2016


Your story. It's your story. Your life, your experiences, your heart ache and your joy. It's what drives you and encourages you and teaches you. It's fascinating and wonderful. Wonderful you say? Yes, absolutely wonderful!

It is as unique as you are. There isn't anyone in the world that has ever been or ever will be that will be exactly like you or have your exact story. Oh, that's not to say that some of us will experience the same things. We will. However, our experiences, strengths, weaknesses and perceptions will potentially leave us experiencing the same exact situation as completely different from each other.

For example, I had to take speech class while in college. We all do. Did you know some people dread that class? They have nightmares about it! From the moment it showed up in my class list, I was thrilled! I couldn't wait for the assignments.

We had a couple of rules in that class. We could not do speeches on controversial issues like gun control or abortion. Understood. We could not do a speech on computers. I was in a computer degree, so what I heard was; don't do a speech on all of the boring algorithms, DOS commands, and computer programming. Ok, that wasn't what I loved about computers anyway.

I spent time on researching what I wanted to speak on. I wanted to inspire my classmates and encourage them. I spoke for fifteen minutes on how wonderful technology was and how computers have opened up the world for us! I shared that with the computerized dictionary we could not only read about a monkey in Africa, but we could watch a video of it in the wild AND hear what it sounded like! We could print on beautiful hand made stationary and 'visit' someone half way around the world simply by web conferencing or email! Fascinating and delightful stuff. At the end of my
speech my class mates whispered to me as I walked back to my seat, "You weren't supposed to do computers!" Not only did I get an A on that speech, my anti-computer instructor admitted to me the next semester that because of my speech, he went and bought a PC! It's perception. My perception was that he was tired of hearing about boring old computers. I saw computers as exciting and full of opportunity. The last speech of the year I called in some favors and got last place. Not because I needed more time, but because my last speech was on how to throw a party! I set it all up as I talked and at the end I invited everyone to join me.

My perception of speech class is that it was a really fun opportunity to think outside the box and connect with my classmates. Others quit school because they absolutely couldn't face having to speak. Amazing, right?

Your story is just like that speech class. You can stand inside of it and be too scared to move or so frustrated that you give up or you can embrace it for all it's worth and wring every last bit of joy out of it.

I recently heard someone say that when you think on all of your obstacles and barriers, they get bigger. The reason they seem bigger is that's because it's all you think about. This really resonated with me. If I focus on the things I can't do then I don't give time to the things I can do. Huh. What a concept. I've heard this same thing dozens of times in my life and although it always rang with truth, this time it hit me square in the forehead. I always thought of it as don't worry about it or don't give it any more of your attention that needed. I don't think that's it. I think it's more about my thoughts lead to my actions and if I'm thinking about how I can't do something, I won't do it. However, if I think about all of the ways I can try to do it, then I will be trying to do it!

For my scrapbooking friends, we work on our stories all the time. We put down the photos and titles, but how many are putting off writing the story for someday when they are a better writer, their handwriting is better or they figure out what to say?Treasure your stories. The fear is in rejection from others, what if they don't like my handwriting? What if they don't understand what I wrote or they don't like it?  You realize tomorrow is just a concept, right? It never actually happens. When it gets here it becomes today and when it's over it becomes yesterday, but tomorrow never actually happens. Don't put it off until tomorrow. Your story is amazing and your handwriting is special to you. It's as much of a treasure as you are.

For my essential oil friends, we are working on our health and reaching out to those we care about. For us the fear is in rejection. What if they.... get healthier? Get wiser? What if you step out of fear and reach out to someone and they love it?

Perception, right?

Thanks for stopping by! Just for fun here is a recipe.
Whipping cream in a cold glass bowl
Whip until fluffy
add a little sugar
add two drops orange essential oil
Plop a healthy spoonful into your coffee! YUM

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Job Hunting - Career Seeking - What Next

Do you ever get the feeling it's just time for a change, that doing what you've been doing just isn't working anymore? I'm there. I am not talking about moving or change in relationships or anything, I really enjoy:
  • Working with people
  • Writing
  • Problem solving
  • Feeling like I've accomplishing something
My strengths are definitely
  • Writing/Communication (I'm one of those crazy people that LOVED speech class!)
  • Teaching/Leading
  • Learning/growing
  • Brainstorming/Thinking outside the box/Being able to look ahead
  • Working alone or as a team
  • Multitasking
  • Prioritizing
  • Technology
Now, what to do with that. Sometimes, I get the overwhelming urge to write. I just have to write. I have friends that say sometimes, they just have to run. I never feel the need to run, but I understand that urging!

I've learned a lot about myself in the last year, several years really. It's been the last year though that has been so dramatic. I've learned I have a genuine love and acceptance for people. All people, even the ones I don't understand. I genuinely care for them and want the best. I've learned that relationships really matter. I'm not a good friend. I'll say that up front. I moved every year my whole childhood, never attending the same school for more than two years in a row. I never learned how to attach myself to a friend. I am a very loyal friend though. If you tell me a secret, I won't share it. If you need to talk something through, I can look at it neutrally and help you figure it out and I  won't judge you for it. If you are my friend, I assume it's because you want to be and you don't have any preconceived ideas of how I should be your friend. I assume that, because I am that way. I've learned that is not the case. People feel let down if they are an active, seek out the friend kind of people. I don't seek people out. I don't think to call a friend up just to chat. In person, I can chat with you for hours. Unprompted? Not so much.

I've learned that although I do not need praise for doing anything. Not at work, not at church, not at home, I DO need to know I'm an important part of the team. This is very important to me. I wasn't really aware of it until this year. Oh, I've known for quite some time that I was feeling very left out and unappreciated in a few areas of my life, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I'm a team player. I can't help it. I'm decisive and a leader and a problem solver. I'ts how God made me. I can see through the bull, even when I let you continue with it. I'm often aware that it's untrue and if you mean to be lying or are just caught up in the moment. Sometimes I'll call you out, but mostly I'll make a mental note that you lied.

I'm very creative. I'm very analytic. I know! These are two complete opposites! I'm very extroverted and confident in front of people. I love speaking to groups of people. I do not like crowds. Sometimes, I feel shy and uncomfortable and I don't want to be around people. Again, opposites.

I love to counsel people. I love listening to their stories, to their struggles and to their joys. I love helping others work through problems and seeing it from outside the box to help them cope and see the joy hidden in the heartache and the hope in the desperation.

I'm an oldest, youngest, middle child that moved a lot growing up but was surrounded by such a variety of personalities in my own family, that it's easy for me to accept others for who they are. My father was married and had children with three women. I was the oldest with his second wife, making me the youngest of the children by his first wife. He went on to have more children, making me a middle child.

I was born with a strong faith. I have always known there was a God and he loved me. Not matter what, He loved me and was there for me. Bad things happened. I got mad at the people, but I never thought to get mad at God. Isn't that odd? I know a lot of Christians and non-Christians and lot of people that have been or are currently, quite angry with God. They blame him for everything bad in their life. He should have this or should have not allowed that. He should have stopped this or given that. I don't know they why behind what happens, I do believe with all my heart that it happened for a reason, even if the reason was choices someone (maybe not even me or you) made a very long time ago.

Family is important to me. Family history/genealogy is important to me. Peoples stories are important. Family photos are important. I'm not a great photographer, but I love being out with my camera. I love capturing moments and sharing them. I love helping people capture their stories.

My perfect job would be just that. I would help people research their family history and write their family story. Not a dry, boring autobiography, but one of love, trial, growth, joy, sadness, regret, and wisdom. I recognize the importance of this. I'm aware of it with my whole being. It is important.

Yet. I haven't done it myself. I haven't written my story. I don't have all of my photos in albums. I don't journal. Again, opposites.

My life is too chaotic. I know this. I know I need to fix it. I don't. I need to. I feel it, like rushing water running over me. Fix it, fix it, fix it. Downsize. Too much stuff. It needs to go. Simplify. Yet, the new job I now possess, possesses me. It consumes me. It does not make me feel like an important part of the team. It drains me. I do not need accolades. I do not need awards. I do not need ceremony. I do need acknowledgement. I do need to feel appreciated. I am consumed and it leaves very little for family, friends, social life or activity.

I have everything I could need to create many beautiful scrapbooks/photo albums. I know how important it is. I feel it in every ounce of my being. It IS important. I know this. I dream it, I think it, I FEEL it. I know this to a be a truth. It is important. I don't do it. I come down here and sit in this large room full of paper and tools and albums and photos and... I don't do it.  I want to, so very desperately, I want to. I want to save my photos and their stories. I want to leave that rich history for my children. I want to help others to do the same. I desperately want to, with an ache that fills me until I almost can't breathe. Sometimes, I drown in the ache of it. It overwhelms me and consumes me and leaves me feeling like a failure. Desolate. Empty.

I feel called to share my spiritual gifts, called! In a loud and persistent way. Like a strong wind at my back kind of way. I am to share what God has given me, what I have learned, what I know and what I love. I've been trying for years to figure out how. I give and share and show. I almost beg to be allowed to share my gifts and what God has blessed me with. I am denied. I am rejected. I am shut out. At first, I was devastated. I am called to share these things. I have strengths and skill and passion and they are fired from the Holy Spirit. Left to just me, they would wither and die, but they don't. They are there. They are whispering: use me. I try. I offer. I almost beg. Nothing. Dismissed. Rejected.

I won't give up. I'm not sure if that is a strength, or a weakness, but I keep going. I keep searching. I keep trying. I keep working.

It is time for change. I don't know what it looks like. I do know that it must be. It has to be.

Conflict. It is the one constant.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers Day

Not surprising to any of you that have worked with me, been in my groups or joined one of my classes; I love to write! I can't explain it, I don't know why I love it, it is invigorating! It's also why I started a blog so many years ago. I wanted a way to express myself and get my thoughts down.

Another passion of mine is people's stories. I LOVE to learn the history, experiences, challenges and accomplishments of, well, everyone. I think that, more than anything else, drives my passion for scrapbooking. I wish I could change the term though. People hear scrapbooking and they think gems, glitter, sewing, ribbon, glitz and glamour. It is not.

It is all about preserving your story. That's it. It is about documenting what and who you love. Yes, it is as simple as that.

Mothers day is a great time to reflect on Mom, Grandma, Nana, Great Aunt Mathilda, the loving elderly woman next door that was always there for you, your moms best friend that stood in for her when she was called home to heaven, or any of those amazing women in our life that have made us who we are. It is a special day set aside to thank them for impacting us.

For me, the greatest gift anyone can give me is their time. For someone to sit down and write a letter to me is an amazing gift. Journaling is just that. Writing down your feelings and experiences.

So, add writing down your feelings/experiences to a photo and tada, you have scrapbooking! Looking for a gift for that amazing woman? Give something personal. It doesn't need to cost a small fortune, you don't need half to tools on the market and you don't need to put glitz on it.

Make it from the heart.
Mean it.
Just do it.

Not sure what to do? Start with a small note of gratitude. Include examples of times that impacted you greatly, or memories that are so wonderful you want her to know how much they meant to you. Just because you know, does NOT mean she does!

When my kids were young I was privileged to get to be at home with them. One summer my mom took time out of her busy day to just come up every morning and have coffee with me. We would play Ninetendo for an hour or so (does anyone remember that?) and then she would leave. Recently I called her out of the blue to tell her how much that experience impacted me. I thought she knew, but wanted to make sure. She had no idea.

To me, it was monumental. I got to know my mom as an adult. We talked about grown up, adult subjects. She shared personal experiences with me. It greatly impacted me and my relationship with her. For one thing, my love language is acts of service and quality time. Here was my mom taking time to spend time with me!! I felt loved.

It's silly, how we perceive things sometimes.

I have a friend that loves it when her husband stops and gets her favorite soft drink on the way home from work. It brings her joy. Why? He thought about her and acted on it. She feels loved. Not only does he know what she loves to drink, but he takes the time to park, get out of his car, go in, pick it out, purchase it, get back in his car and bring it to her. He thinks about her. That lets her know she is loved. I'm guessing her love language ( - or how she feels loved - is gifts or acts of service.

Another friend complains that her husband is never there for her. She is struggling in her marriage. Her husband stops and buys her flowers once in a while for not reason at all. He gives her cards and writes lovely messages in them. He buys her beautiful jewelry. He is not an affectionate man. Her love language is touch. She is hungry for hugs, holding hands, an arm around her shoulders or just sitting close. Although he is doing everything he can think of to show her he loves her, he isn't doing what she needs.

That's what this post is all about.

TELL her why she is important. Tell her. Don't assume she knows.

Have mom, or the mom in your life, go to and take the test. Find out what their love language is, or how they feel loved, and then act on it. If it is quality time, plan a special outing just for her. If it is touch, take her to lunch, hug her, put your arm around her as you walk, hug her again :)

If it is acts of service, take her car and wash it. Mow her yard. Do something for her.

Appreciation comes in all forms. If you really, really want to make an impact. Write her a letter. Tell her how much she has meant to you. Include examples of how she made a difference. Include your favorite photo of the two of you together. You don't have one? Why not? Get it. Today.

A photo and a letter.

That is scrapbooking. Multiple photos and writing about the experience. That's a layout. Multiple layouts and that's an album. An album done and that is amazing memories saved for a lifetime.

Need help? Contact me, I would be more than glad to help. This is my passion. It fires my soul. It's why I do what I do. I LOVE to hear your story! I LOVE helping you preserve it.

Tell her. Show her.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Silhouette CAMEO!!

My amazing husband surprised me with a cutter for Christmas! I haven't designed files in several years and I am SUPER excited to start again! I spent the day watching youtube videos and playing with the machine and the settings. Now I'm ready to start, however, I need  some inspiration! 

Please post on here what you are working on and what file would really help you! If it inspires me, I will create the file and share it! 

I can convert my old files too it seems, which is also very exciting! So, what are you looking for? What can I help you with? 

Let me know, 

Start Scrapbooking

Photo journaling, scrapbooking, and saving your memories to any media are really all the same thing. For this post, I'm going to call it...