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Sunday, November 29, 2009

I have been trying for days to change the background of my blog to one of my own designs, but I simply cannot get it to span the entire width. There must be some code I'm missing! Thanks to Bonnie van Esch, I have this gorgeous vintage floral background to use until I can figure this out.
I am happy to say that I managed to get clickable buttons to run across the top under my header to direct you to places on my blog as well as to Weeds and Wildflowers (where I am part of the creative team).

If you like mine. you can check out, that's where I found out how to do this. So easy actually- you simply copy and paste some standard code, then you change some colours if you like and change the wording, add the links - also just a case of substituting your link - and voilĂ , there you have it.

The next step would be to figure out how to change these simple buttons to cute customized ones.... mmmm challenges, challenges!

We're having a good old Sunday lunch today, complete with Roast lamb, veg and roast potatoes. Leon's mom is coming over and my parents will eat with us too, so we're going to have a bit of a family lunch.

I have taken out the Christmas decorations, but cannot find the base for the tree. I distinctly remember telling Leon last year "Remember the base isn't with the tree, here it is, let's not forget where we put it" - and guess what - I have forgotten where it is! Isn't that just "Murphy" getting up to his old tricks again!?

I have to make a concerted effort to find it today so we can get the tree off the snooker table and the decorations off the sofa in the living room!

This week should be a little less stressful than all the running around I did last week. We have Shannon's Grade 6 Thanksgiving service at school tomorrow night - her last 'offical' school function before she moves up to the High School next year. Reece has his pool party on Tuesday where the kids take swimming costumes and spend the morning at the school pool. Then Friday is the last day of school and Shannon's end-of-year singing concert and awards.

Saturday we're off to Olifants for a few days - so looking forward to that!

Last week I went with Shannon and a few friends to see the premier of New Moon, the latest movie in the Twilight series. We really enjoyed it. 2 1/4 hours flew by so quickly. I think it's better than the first movie. It's such an escape from reality, I love those vampires LOL! :)

I had to buy iron-on transfer paper to make a T-shirt for my Twilight-obsessed daughter! She had me driving all over to find the (rather expensive) paper so I could make a T-shirt for her. There simply was no time to even think of trying to order one online.

I have to admit (eek) that I copied a T-shirt off the internet for her. Well, sort-of. I made the design myself and changed it a bit. the original paid tribute to Edward, Shannon's had to pay tribute to her favourite character, Emmett.

Here's what it looked like:

Cute idea! So all credit to the original designer, whoever that may be. It certainly was a hit with Shannon!

Well, duty calls, I have to go get things moving in the house (uggh) : unpack the dishwasher, check school clothes for tomorrow and make a shopping list so I can go to Woolworths to pick up some food for lunch etc etc...

PS: There are great Black Friday sales on at W&W's this weekend - so go click on my new little button at the top of the blog ;o) and take a peek at what's on sale. There are also 3 new "Sweet & Simple" Christmas kits just released.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

pixels; pain & perfection...

I am about to scream! I have tried and tried to add a background here on my blog in exactly the same way as I did previously (and it worked) but for some reason, it doesn't want to work now.

I have made the cutest new background full of vintage images, but it simply will not load here! Oh boy for me there is nothing worse than something that won't do what I want it to do.

I think I am my own worst enemy at times as I will persevere until I get it right. This time however, I am tired of trying! It's time to ask for help I think!

Well at least the weather has improved- something is going right! And I'm feeling better today after having a leg cramp on Thursday night which resulted in me getting sick from the pain. I have now decided that I will simply have to deal with my Fibromyalgia in a new way.

This is the first time in a very long time that it has affected me to this extent and I simply can't function this way. I am going to have to take some magnesium and potassium supplements and watch my diet.

Plus I'm going to have to combat my innate desire for perfection - I have to relent sometimes and realise that sometimes I simply can't do something and need to take a break!

Okay, that's my ranting for today.

Here's a new layout I did yesterday with W&W's Jolly Holiday Christmas Collection. I just love these products!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It has been so cold here this week, one could almost imagine that you've been transported to the Northern Hemisphere! Since Tuesday the temp hasn't gone above around 15 degC! It has been raining and the wind has howled. Simply not the usual hot Summer weather we're used to!

So weird how the weather is so erratic.

With the advent of the cold weather, I have been getting in the mood for Christmas decorating. I love the coziness of Christmas and this weather makes me want to cozy-up the house with Christmas goodies. So I think this weekend we may just start hauling out the tree and ornaments.

Our annual neighbourhood Santa sleigh begins on Monday. We secretly drop off a gift for our kids at the office and then Santa drives around all the streets on a light-festooned sleigh (pulled by a pick up) delivering the gifts. They play Christmas Carols at full volume so you can hear the sleigh from all over the neighbourhood. The kids look forward to it every year and Reece has been asking when Santa's coming for the last month. (Shannon is old enough to know that this is all mom's doing, but boy she still wouldn't miss it for anything!)

I've also been digi scrapping a lot lately since I'm now a CT member for Weeds & Wildflowers. I SO love their products! They are just so unusual and doodly - so cute.

Here are a few of my latest ones...

Girlie-girl_web My-creative-escapes_web ENERGETIC-BOY_web school-boy_web


Monday, November 16, 2009

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"
My favourite time of the year!

I really am starting to get the feeling of Christmas now. Even though our local hypermarket has been beautifully adorned for Christmas and has had Christmas goodies for sale since the beginning of October (can you believe that?), I haven't actually 'felt' that Christmassy feeling until now.
I'm already planning the decor for our Christmas table and am looking forward to all the preparations and anticipation of this wonderful time.
Most of the stores now have loads of sparkling, tinselling ornaments out for us to drool over. And what a choice! Some are elegant, others old-fashioned (love those!), others are just plain christmassy cute (love those too)!
There are even the most adorable adornments for our feline and canine friends at our local PicknPay - I am simply going to have to buy a couple for our furry friends at home! (mmm - wonder what a duck would look like with a Santa hat- now that's a thought!)
This year I want to make Christmas loads of fun for the kids. When we had a family Halloween get-together this year, I found a fantastic site that generates the cutest cards, bingo games etc etc. I printed out a Halloween Bingo game and played it with them on Halloween, they enjoyed it so much that I think this Christmas, I will print out a cute Christmas one. They'll love that.
Take a peek here for a free Christmas Bingo card generator.
Reece is really looking forward to Santa's sleigh arriving in our neighbourhood this year. Each year, in mid-November, Santa visits each street in our Estate. He rides on a Christmas light-festooned sleigh pulled along by a bakkie (pick-up). The kids love it as Santa's sleigh is accompanied by wonderful melodious Christmas carols which can be heard all over the Estate. So for a few weeks, the spirit of Christmas is sprinkled around our estate as santa drives around spreading christmas cheer and handing out much anticipated gifts (Note to self -drop kids' gifts off at the office by Wednesday!).
In our previous home, we used to go crazy with Christmas lights. I loved decorating the outside of the house with magical twinkling lights. The estate we lived in had a 'switch-on' day when we would all light up our homes for the first time that season. Even now, the tradition continues there.
I plan to decorate our home here with lights this year. The kids are getting older each year and I would love to inspire them to continue with our little family traditions, albeit how simple. I got out of the habit of decorating with lights outside purely because this house is SO much bigger and very spread out which makes it so much more difficult to decorate. This year will be different- I am determined to transform our home into a memorable magical place!
Do you like my title at the start of my post? Then I have a surprise FREEBIE for you!
You can grab some cute digital (& printable) Christmas clocks HERE. Hope you enjoy them!

Friday, November 13, 2009

For the moms out there..

Do you ever feel as though the things you do are simply not appreciated? That you are expected to do things for your family, yet never actually get some sort of recognition? Well here's a little story that my friend Rika sent me, which I think sums it all up...

Invisible Mother.....
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me
until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave
their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever
be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.'

That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women .

So there you have it. Remember that you are doing wonderful things which are appreciated and admired, even though it isn't actually verbalised.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Today is Digital Scrapbooking Day and over at W&W there's loads happening. I posted my first blogpost yesterday as part of the new CT . You can view it here - and grab a FREE template.

I had to get back into the swing of things with using FTP and posting on the blog- but sorted it out in no time as my memory came flooding back to me. Happy fond memories of way back when I was designing.

This week has been a turmoil with Shannon's school deciding to incorporate the Grade 7 classes for 2010 into the High School as well as increase class sizes throughout the school from 24 to 28. The parents, needless to say, have been really up in arms over it.

I personally don't mind too much about the Grade 7's moving up to High school, it was just that the school chose to drop this bombshell on us 4 weeks before the end of the school year. Not too fair and rather a shock to us all. As for the increase in the class sizes - that's another matter all together! Surely it's not beneficial to the kids to have bigger class sizes. There are so many studies to prove this!

On a lighter note, yesterday afternoon Reece enjoyed the Fun Day at school - except he got really nauseous on one of the rides (the second time on the same ride!). He couldn't even stand up! Thank goodness he wasn't physically ill! There was another ride where I wish I had had my camera with me- typical - I forgot it at home! They lift them up on chairs using air blown into a kind of balloon-type jumping castle thingy - almost parachute-style. There is a velcro closing door which they open once the kids are around 3 metres up in the air. This causes decompression as the air blasts out and the chairs drop really fast. Reece's expression was so funny- he looked so bewildered as if he didn't know where he was!

Well gotta go now- off to take Reece to cricket at Southdowns festival. I really am not in the mood. We had a lot of rain last night and I have to admit, was hoping the cricket was cancelled!

Oh well.....