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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Scrapbooking: Anniversary projects.

Anniversary Mini Album

One last anniversary related post and I swear that I'll move on. In honor of our fifth anniversary, I thought it would be fun to make a album containing photos of the two of us together through the years. I had originally thought of doing a page for each year that we've been together as a couple, but that was a little too ambitious for now. So I just included a photo of us from each year that we were married (2002 - 2007). Ironically, even though the album is titled "Five," there's actually six pages. Oops.

Anniversary Mini Album

Anyway, this was more a craft project than a scrapbook, as I didn't include any journaling. The pages are cardboard coasters that I "stole" quite awhile ago from Chili's. This made hole punching very challenging, so much that Mark had to intervene because I wasn't quite strong enough to do it. In the end, we broke both of my hole punches.

5 Reasons Why My Husband Is Better Than Yours.

Instead of giving Mark a card, I wanted to let him know how much I appreciate the specific things that he does, so I made him a page listing five of those things. The title is a little over the top, but hey, when you want to make someone really feel good you sometimes have to go to the extreme! One of my goals this year was to make a family oriented album, so at least this is a start.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Ipod Touch!

From the "I didn't know I needed it until I had one department":

My anniversary present arrived yesterday in the form of an iPod Touch. It is possibly the slickest thing I've ever used in my life. This is coming from person who remembers the first time she surfed the World Wide Web.

It looks and acts like an iPhone, but it doesn't have the phone or camera capabilities. It stores music, videos, photos and you can surf the internet using WiFi.

That's great and all, but the most amazing feature is the touch screen. It's one of those things that if someone described it, you'd probably think that it couldn't possibly be good, but yeah, it's good. After like, a half of a day of using it, touching links and buttons to navigate has already become second nature. I'm not going to get into how you can flip the screen vertically and horizontally or how you can use the "pinch" motion (Think "I'm crushing your head!") to zoom in and out on things because Apple's commercial does the thing more justice by visually demonstrating these features than I could describing them.

It's in technologically advanced times like these that I wonder what little 8 year old Melissa, who was so enraptured by playing her Merlin, would think.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Belated anniversary happenings.

Hall of Architecture.

Well, it's almost a week ago, but better late than never. For our anniversary, we decided to spend the afternoon at the Carnegie Museum. This idea was born out of the fact that we didn't get to go to my company's party that was held there a couple of weeks ago. Although I used to visit often when I was in college, I hadn't been to the museum for about 15 years. I was amazed at how little it changed. Yes, the famous Hall of Dinosaurs is completely redone, but other than that, I could practically give tours there!

My long standing favorite room of the museum is the Hall of Architecture, pictured above. It, along with the soon to be all-new Hall of Dinosaurs (Now called Dinosaurs Alive!), is celebrating a 100th anniversary.

Kindly ol' bear.Entrance to Egyptian displays.Me in the Hall of Gemstones and Minerals.French Carnaval display.

No photos of the Museum of Art, as you're not supposed to take pictures there. I wish they would acquire some new Impressionist paintings, as the same old ones were on display.

For dessert that day, Mark baked a homemade apple pie. I think that his dream is to make one filled with apples picked from his own apple tree. But for now, store bought apples are just fine, because this pie was still mighty tasty.

Homemade apple pie.

When I arrived home yesterday, I was surprised to find homemade pizza in the works. Mark used tomatoes from our garden to make the sauce and meatballs that I made for the topping. What will he come up with next?!

Homemade pizza with meatballs.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scrapbooking: Thrill seeker.

It's safe to say that I probably have more paper and cardstock than I will ever use (Or two or three of me would ever use, for that matter!). So although I'm occasionally compelled to buy more, for the most part, I try to work with what I already have.


This page was created from a kit that I bought about a year and half ago on eBay. It's called "Springtime," and it's made by one of my favorite paper companies, SEI. I don't think I could find paper that would better coordinate with these photos. It's moments like this that justify all my past purchases.

Journaling reads: When we took Lauren for her first trip to Kennywood Park, we were a little apprehensive. She was going through a phase where the unfamiliar freaked her out, so we weren't sure how she was going to react. Little did we know that she was such a thrill seeker! Granted, she may not seem so thrilled while she's riding, but she's already demanding another turn before the ride comes to a full stop. So ride on, thrill seeker!

On a side note, I can't get enough of that photo of Mark and Lauren riding the Little Phantom. It is just too cute!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Five years.

September 21, 2007 - Our 5th Anniversary!

As of today, Mark and I have been married five years.

Us then, circa 2002.Us now.

Can you tell the difference?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Scrapbook: Undeniably you.

Undeniably you.

If I was to give the primary reason why I scrapbook, I would say that I scrapbook the things that I want to remember (and because it's fun!). Nevertheless, when I scrapbook about Lauren, I always try to keep her feelings in mind. Once she grows old enough to read and understand what's on these pages, I hope that she doesn't feel embarrassed or weird about the thoughts that her mother puts to paper, but you never know!

Journaling reads: I admit that sometimes I wonder why you're not like other toddlers. Why you don't shower us with hugs and kisses. Why you don't take naps in your stroller. Why you won't let me put your hair in ponytails. Why you mostly prefer Daddy over me. But I'm beginning to learn that children aren't like hamburgers - they don't come made to order. And that's okay. Because sometimes when you just let the short order cook do his thing, you discover a combination that you didn't know that you loved.

(Yes, the analogy is sort of weird, but I ran with it anyway!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Who needs Kitchenaid?

Vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster stand mixer

I've wanted a Kitchenaid stand mixer for some time, but I'm just not willing to commit $200+ for an appliance that I would probably only pull out once a year to make mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. A few years ago, I instead purchased a Sunbeam Mixmaster at Lowe's. It worked just fine, but it just wasn't the same. I sold it for $15 last year at our garage sale, because it would be one less thing to have to move.

Now, this, is so much better. I bought it yesterday when we traveled once again to Burton, OH for the Great Geauga Antique's Fair. Too bad that it only runs on high speed. I keep giving Mark puppy dog eyes in hopes that he will attempt to fix it. Although I love the pink, I'm thinking that I should have held out for an aqua one, because the color would match my kitchen better.

Other than my sweet mixer, I don't have much to report regarding our trip. The Amish community that lives on the outskirts of town was super busy yesterday harvesting the fields and blocking the roads with carts packed wide with corn stalks. Mark coined the phrase "Amish rush hour" to describe this phenomenon, so when it catches on, you'll know where you heard it first.

The September fair is usually the lesser event, but this time it was really a letdown. Whether it was because the weather was cold or the fact that people are losing interest in antiques, the fair was the smallest that we've seen it. Usually we browse 3+ hours, however yesterday, we barely stayed 1.5. We were hoping to buy a couple of furniture items, but with the selection, it just wasn't meant to be.

Belle's American Grille Chicken Pecan Salad

One thing that didn't disappoint was the Chicken Pecan Salad at Belle's American Grille. This time it came with the most delicious banana nut muffin that I've ever tasted.

Off to start dinner...I wonder what I can mix on high speed?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Photobooks: Are they addictive?


I associate scrapbooking as a fall through spring activity, so it's not surprising that I made approximately 1.5 pages during the last three months (The half of a page was made during a Creative Memories party.).

But creatively, I haven't been completely dormant. Instead of paper and glue pages, I made photobooks. These were ordered from Shutterfly, which for some reason considers me as an extremely valuable customer deserving of a lot of free stuff. So everytime they send me tempting offers, I make a photobook.

He's the One Photobook.

The first one I had made as a gift for Mark for Father's Day. Each page completes the phrase "He's the one..." and shows a photo of Mark in supreme daddy mode. The 8 x 8 books start at $29.99 plus shipping, but this one was free. The only catch was that I had to order $10 worth of prints and pay for shipping. Monty, I'll take the deal!

Best of 2006 Photobook

The second one was just a collection of favorite photos from 2006. Each page contains when and where the photo was taken, who was behind the camera and a description of what was going on at the time. I had to play around with the page templates to get the layout how I wanted, but I was still satisfied with the end result. I'm already planning to create Volume 2 with 2007 photos. This book was discounted 20%, with free shipping, plus my account was credited with 75 free prints for placing a $20 order.

The possibilities are really endless with photobooks because using imaging software you can customize your page exactly the way you want it and than upload it as a photo to match the size of the pages within the album. I haven't gone that far yet (Too much work!), but I did make my own graphics, albeit simple, for the covers.

Although I don't think that they're not cost effective enough to give, say, as holiday gifts for everyone on your list, I think it's definitely worth the price to build your own little library of stories. I'm certainly going to give it a try!

V fib? No problem!

V fib? No problem!

As of today, I think I can safely say that I have recovered. I'm still taking it easy on my stomach, so you won't see me at All You Can Eat Wing Night anytime soon.

Professional me.

I was able to get my hands on a copy of the program from Saturday's awards ceremony. Mark keeps commenting that I look like I'm topless underneath my blazer. Why doesn't anyone tell me these things before I have my photo taken?

As you can see above, today I attended an all day training in life saving and first aid techniques. Having bad memories of 8th grade health class where 30 of us had to take turns giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to homely female dummy while our gym teacher wiped it's mouth with an alcohol soaked cotton ball, I was slightly apprehensive. Thankfully, there have been great strides in hygienics during the last 20 years, so the the class was nothing like that at all. In fact, we had a very good instructor who made the material interesting and fun (Well, as fun as cardiac arrest and amputations can be.). I honestly don't know if I would be up to the task if put in the life threatening situation, but it is comforting to know that at least I have some clue as to what to do.

Now I'm off to clean the yogurt Lauren smeared all over the desk, keyboard and computer screen. Oh the glamorous life I lead!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Right now.

Right now, I...

...should be wearing this dress.
...should be getting a formal portrait taken with my cute husband in his new suit.
...should be enjoying all kinds of yummy food, like bananas foster and creme brule.
...should be listening to the vocal stylings of Kenny Loggins (Yes, Kenny Loggins.).
...should be celebrating my 10th year with my company at a big party at the Carnegie Museum.

But instead, I am at home. With the stomach flu.

Monday, September 3, 2007



I can't believe that it's September already. The stores have already started the Halloween blitz, so it's only a matter of time before Christmas is here.

We've come to realize that our little girl is quite the thrillseeker. So far, she's taken every ride that we've thrown at her with aplomb.

Lauren is having a great time. Really.

Mark insists that I dressed Lauren like an Amish kid on purpose for our visit to Lancaster. Trust me, it was just coincidence.

If Lauren and daddy were amish.

Okay, maybe not.

Anyway, overall Dutch Wonderland is a charming little amusement park. I was especially impressed with the employees of the park (mostly high school / college students working for the summer) who were all really friendly and ably handled their pint sized customers. However, the $30 admission price is a little steep for what it is (one large Kiddieland), especially since Kennywood's admission price is roughly the same and boasts several roller coasters and big thrill rides.

More photos of the park can be seen on Flickr.

Thus concludes our summer adventures. Bring on autumn!