Saturday, February 18, 2012

DIY Valentines & My Memory Suite Winner Announced

I shared our plans for my son's school valentines last week in my My Memories Suite giveaway post.  Yes, I'm a tad late in posting about how they turned out but it's been a busy week so please forgive me.

I settled on this idea after seeing this on Pinterest.

It took me going to four stores to find the heart-shaped pan to use, but of course Wal-Mart ended up having it.  Whew.  

We ended up using three of the four 64-count boxes of crayons that we'd purchased to make 20 valentines.  

Friendly tip, if you cut into the wrappers (and into the crayon) with a knife, they're much easier to take off.  My genius husband realized this.

So, after taking the wrappers off, we cut them into a few pieces, and tossed them into the hearts and into the oven for about 12 minutes on 230 degrees.  If you leave them in the oven too long or turn the heat up too high, your crayons will look brown or black.  Our first batch was a dud so you may have to play around with it a bit.  But, it's all part of the fun.  ;)

Ever wondered what 192 crayons looked like in a bowl?
Well, wonder no more.

Notice there's no brown or black crayons.
The test batch let us know that was a no no.


So relieved that they turned out okay!

In my previous post, I'd considered using this "card" similar to the one in the Pinterest picture that I created using the My Memories Suite software that's my new BFF.  

But, I changed my mind.  Instead, I decided that I wanted to place the crayons into clear bags, so I created this "card" to staple to the top of the bags.    

And, here's how they turned out.  Yay!

Madd was really excited to pass out his Valentines and I'm glad that we took the time to make our own.  It really was fun AND of course, I'm counting it toward my DIY projects for My 30 Before 30 List.  ;)

Oh, AND I'm happy to announce that Jessica H is the winner of the My Memory Suite Digital Software Giveaway.  Jessica, I promise that you're going to LOVE this software.  

And remember, if you didn't win and you'd like to purchase the software so you can make digital scrapbooks, cards, calendars, and of course... valentines, you can use the promo code STMMMS32327 when you checkout and you'll receive $10 OFF!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Oh, Whitney

I'm sure you've heard that Whitney Houston was found dead today.  Now, I'm not usually one to be personally upset about the death of a celebrity, but I'm really, really sad to hear that she's no longer with us.

I've always loved music.  I was in choir in high school, made All Region Choir and All State Choir and even went to college on a choir scholarship (but unfortunately was an idiot and decided not to stick with choir throughout my entire time in college.)  In fact, #8 on My 30 Before 30 List is to sing in a choir again.  (I miss it so much!)

As soon as I started to realize how much I loved to sing, Whitney Houston immediately became my idol.  After all, she had one of those voices that could completely captivate you.  I would listen to her daily in awe of her and her talent.  I respected her as an artist.  And her talent truly touched me, as I'd often turn to her music to escape reality during difficult moments when growing up.

It's been no secret that she's struggled with addiction for quite a while, but just like other artists who've fallen out of the good graces of the public, I've always hoped she'd make a comeback.  Knowing now that it won't happen is devastating.

In a society where auto-tunes and Kei$ha pass for music, it's sad to lose someone with such raw talent.

We lost one of the greats today.  R.I.P. Whitney.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Path Not Taken

It's Secret Sunday!  Link up below!

This Post Secret submission is one that I can really relate to.  I always over analyze everything and like to play it safe.  After all, I'm a mom and I can't just think about myself.  

As I've briefly mentioned in previous posts, I plan to start my own business this year.  Right now I'm trying to get my business plan in order and I swear with every decision I make, I'm forced to ask myself two more questions that I have no clue how to answer.

It'd be so easy to just go to work for an established firm after I graduate.  I'd have a guaranteed pay check.  I wouldn't be stressing out right now attempting to define my business's image and the services I'll offer clients.  

It'd be unbelievably easier not to start my own business.  The only thing keeping me from throwing in the towel is knowing that I'd always regret not taking this risk.  I know I would.  

And I know that if I don't do this now, fresh out of law school, it won't happen.  It'd be even more difficult to justify leaving a firm with a guaranteed salary to venture off into my own business than it is to start one fresh out of school.  So I know that it's now or never.  

Yes, I'm terrified.  But I keep a saying in the back of my mind as I work through all of this that keeps me pushing forward with my dream:  I'd rather have a life of 'oh wells' than a life of 'what ifs.'

So, what's your secret?
{New to Secret Sunday? Find out all you need to know here!}

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software Review & Giveaway!

I was contacted by My Memories to share a review with my readers and (the best part) to host a giveaway.  

My Memories is a site that is devoted to digital scrapbooking.  But because I've never scrapbooked in my life, I honestly thought I'd download the software and think, "Oh, that'd be neat for a scrapbooker."  

Um no.  It's so much more than that!  EEK!!

Look at this Valentine's Day card I'll be mailing out to friends and family!  I'm having it printed on card stock.  I'll fold it in half, leaving the inside blank to write a sweet little "thinking of you" message.  

This scrapbook software is so amazing and it's so user friendly.  Here's a screenshot of the software right before I saved this card.  

On the right side, (if you squint) you'll see the control panel.  It contains all the little things you'll need to go crazy.  I used two different background papers and then added the cute little pink ribbon & birdy embellishments.  Then I added text and a photo of the cutest little boy I've ever seen.  Done!  

For my son's school v-day cards, I decided to use this idea that I found on Pinterest.  I think it will be a fun project that my little man can help with, and hopefully the kids will actually use the crayons.  (Plus, it's ONE less piece of candy they'll eat on that day.)

Rather than handwriting out the phrase, "Happy Valentine's Day for "crayon" out loud!" like the creator did above, I decided to see if I could whip up something using my My Memories Suite software.  

Here's how it turned out.  Feel free to email me if you'd like to use this.  

Even though it doesn't look like it here, this is actually a 5 x 5 square.  (That's another great thing about the software--you can pick the exact size of your pages and/or album.)  I think that after I print them on card stock I'll cut around the outside, making it a circle.  

Seriously, the possibilities are endless.  And don't worry.  If you don't want to start "blank" you don't have to.  There are TONS of pre-made albums and pages for you to use too if you'd like.  

And, although this digital scrapbook software comes with a lot of designs, embellishments and everything else under the sun, there's also a page on their site devoted to free digital scrapbooking kits that designers make specifically for their software and there's no limit to how much of the free stuff you can add to your software.  Holla!  

Okay, so you get the point.  Just know that if you want more information on the software, this page on their site has some great information.  

Now to the super fun part!  My Memories is giving away its scrapbooking software to one of my blog readers!  And because the software is downloaded from their site, there's no wait for a disk to come in the mail!  YAY!  

If you're not the lucky winner of this giveaway, can't wait, or want to buy this as a gift for someone else, use the promo code STMMMS32327 when you checkout and you'll receive $10 OFF your purchase of My Memory Suite.

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Your Daily Dose [Of Motivation]

I'm in a very unique position right now in that I'm about to end my life as a student (the only life I've ever known) and begin my career (by starting my own business.)  To be completely blunt and honest, I'm fucking terrified.

I've always said that all we have in life is time and we're either doing something with it or we're not.  And, we all have dreams and goals.  It's okay to be scared, but it's not okay to let that fear keep you from achieving something your soul desires.  (Easier said than done, right?)

So if you needed a daily dose of motivation today like I did to get you thinking about your life, where you're at, and where you want to be, here ya go.

My only question is, what are you waiting for?