Saturday, September 27, 2014

Trip to Dallas Texas

We made a short trip to Dallas, TX for 4 days to visit my sister Joyce and her family.  Hard to believe but we hadn’t seen them since they came to visit July last year.  It was definitely time to get together again!   We flew from San Diego to Dallas on Saturday (9/20) morning.  Thank goodness there are directly flights between our two cities, because I’ve developed a total dislike of traveling to cities where we have a layover somewhere, ever since our fiasco of a trip to Ohio last fall.  This trip was easy in and easy out, which was a relief.

We arrived Saturday afternoon to DFW airport and rented a car.  Drove to Joyce’s house just in time to leave for dinner at Cheddars

My nephew Andrew.  He’s 10.


My sister Joyce and her husband Alex.


My older nephew Xander, who is 12, stayed home with the sitter.  He has severe autism and other issues and is non-verbal.  It’s been a bit difficult to take him to public places lately due to his extreme screaming and tantrums triggered by unknown factors to us.  My sister’s family has respite care for four hours each weekend day, because Xander can be more than a handful to take care of constantly. 

I got a shrimp stir fry at Cheddars and it was delicious!


Todd got buffalo chicken fingers, which he said was “surprisingly good”.


After dinner we hung out at the house.  Me and my sister Joyce.


Andrew and I played with the rainbow loom.  I had heard of this craze but haven’t had any personal experience with it until now!



Andrew finds youtube video tutorials on how to make all kinds of things with the loom, not just bracelets!  He’s made a ton of different animals and characters.


But since I’m a newbie he taught me how to make bracelets, ha ha.  So fun!

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On Sunday (9/21) morning we went to church at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. This is my sister’s family’s home church.  After searching quite a bit, they liked this church because they have an entire wing for special-needs children, which is great for Xander.  In the past they went to other churches and the daycare could not handle Xander’s special needs.  Joyce & Alex would be interrupted from church service or Sunday school due to them not being able to handle Xander.  Now with the special-needs wing at Prestonwood, they can enjoy church and fellowship while feeling comfortable with the daycare that Xander receives.  It’s a win-win.

We went to the 9:15 service.  The sanctuary was HUGE!


We sat in the balcony.  They had baptism, baby dedication, singing, and sermon.  I really enjoyed it.  After the service, Andrew went to Sunday school, and the adults headed to Bible Fellowship class.  I got to meet Joyce & Alex’s friends from the class.  It was really nice. 

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Prestonwood was amazingly huge!  We walked and rode elevators to different places and it was just astounding how huge it was.  So glad that there’s Bible fellowship so that they can get to know the same people in a small-group setting. 

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And yea, they even had a huge cafeteria and restaurant on church premises!   Joyce, Andrew, Todd, and I ate lunch there.  Alex took Xander home for lunch.

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On Sunday evening we had some salad and hot dogs for dinner.  It was a fun time of hanging out.  Xander still likes to jump on the bed.  Todd caught a rare photo of him smiling at the camera.


On Monday (9/22) morning the kids went to school, and Joyce & Alex went to work for half a day.  Todd and I got up and went to breakfast at Snug On The Square in downtown McKinney. 

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Downtown McKinney was very quaint.  The Californian in me was amazed at the amount of open parking spaces available.  In San Diego we plan our life and travels around whether there are parking spaces available where we want to go at the time when we want to go.

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We went to Snug because of the good Yelp reviews.  The shop was very kitschy and eclectic.

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We stood in line to order our food first.

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Then we sat down to wait for the food.

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And wait for the food.  And wait for the food.  And wait for the food.  We waited for over 45 minutes!  That’s not really acceptable.  Finally they brought the food.  Todd ordered the waffles with fruit and he said it tasted like frozen waffles.  The lack of eggs made the texture yucky.

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I had a mushroom, ham, and jalapeno omelet and liked it.  It was huge though, so I saved half the omelet for the next day.

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Todd’s caramel latte.

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The food at Snug was definitely not good enough to wait 45 minutes for.  Oh well.

We went back to the house and then met up with Joyce & Alex for lunch at 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco for lunch.  We wanted some Texas BBQ!


And this place was delicious!  We got the three meat plates with ribs added and shared everything.  Yum!

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After lunch we went back to Joyce’s house and relaxed.  It’s a long-held tradition between Todd and Alex that every time they get together they play Madden NFL game together.  This time was no exception.  They played two games and Alex won both!

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We had grilled hamburgers for dinner.  Then Todd and Andrew jumped on the trampoline in the backyard.  Uncle Todd can jump really high!




Tuesday (9/23) was our last day in Texas.  We went to lunch at La Hacienda Ranch in Frisco.  We called it “Texican” food, ha ha!  I had beef bricket quesadilla and it was good!

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Alex, me, and Joyce in front of La Hacienda.


After lunch we drove back to the DFW airport and flew back home.  The weather in Dallas was pretty nice when we were there.  The day we left it was actually 59 degrees in the morning!  It got to about 82 degrees but it was not humid at all.  We landed in San Diego to much more humid weather than Dallas. 

This trip was awesome.  I loved seeing my sister and her family.  I loved going to church and Bible fellowship with them and checking out their church.  I loved meeting their church friends.  I enjoyed spending time with Andrew, who at 10 is a great at conversations and thinking on his own.  I enjoyed the Texas BBQ!  And yes, everything IS bigger in Texas.  But it’s also way cheaper than San Diego.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bella Blvd | Ornament Thief


My third and final layout for my Bella Blvd guest designer spot this month is very whimsical!  And it stars my cat Noodle! 

Bella Blvd | Ornament Thief


My supplies are from the Bella Blvd holiday collection called Christmas Cheer.  I love this colorful and whimsical holiday collection with awesome patterned papers!

I caught a photo of Noodle trying to take an ornament off the tree a couple of years ago. I thought I would create a tree filled with the pretty papers.  I used a digital brush in Photoshop to create the tree shape. Then I saved it as a jpeg file and brought it into my Silhouette Studio software to trace it for cutting. Then I filled the cut-out “windows” with patterned papers.  I also used my Silhouette to cut out the word “thief” and stapled it to my photo as part of my title.


I thought the green feather was perfect under the photo, sort of like a tree branch.


I sewed around the edge of the tree with red stitching for the finishing touch.


I love all three layouts that I created for Bella Blvd this month.  Check out the Hello Autumn and Christmas Cheer collections for fall and holiday scrapbooking!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bella Blvd | Holiday Spirit


Today I’m showing you the second scrapbook layout I made for my September guest designer gig at Bella Blvd.  I had a lot of fun with all the patterned papers in this one!

Bella Blvd | Holiday Spirit


Supplies:  I used Bella Blvd’s new holiday collection called Christmas Cheer.  It’s full of colors and whimsical characters, such as reindeers, penguins, and Santa! 

I love the happy colors in this collection. The reindeers were my favorite! In fact, it inspired my selection of the photo for my second layout, “Holiday Spirit”.  I used a triangle punch to punch out a bunch of triangles from my favorite papers in the collection. Then I placed them to make sure they fit and look good, then I glued them down.


I layered vellum under the photo and the title so that they stood out from the triangle patterned background.  The “holiday” in the title with the circle connected to it was drawn by me and then traced in the Silhouette Studio software.  Then I cut it out with my Silhouette and white cardstock.


I added some stickers and little embellishments on top of the vellum mat, to make it more festive!


I framed the photo with some of the border, tab, and word stickers, giving a layered look.


Christmas Cheer is such a happy & colorful holiday collection.  I can see using it for many holiday and winter pages, and also a December album!

Thanks for stopping by!  Tomorrow I’ll show you my third and final layout I made for Bella Blvd this month!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Bella Blvd | Pumpkins


I’m very excited to be the September guest designer at Bella Blvd!  When Laura emailed me to ask me, I said yes immediately.  I made three layouts for Bella Blvd and I’ll be blogging here about them today, tomorrow, and Wednesday.  My September guest blog post is also live on the Bella Blvd blog today, if you want to click over and see all my layouts at once.

Bella Blvd | Pumpkins


This layout was created using the Bella Blvd Hello Autumn collection.  This collection is perfect for all your fall photos, especially pumpkin patch photos! 

Since I live in SoCal, I usually don’t have a lot of fall photos. However, last year we went to a big pumpkin patch for the first time. It was 85 degrees in October and so hot! But I did get a bunch of fall-ish pumpkin photos, so I was delighted when I saw the new Bella Blvd fall collection Hello Autumn! The colors were perfect with my photos.

I love that this collection has blue colors in it too. It really pops against the oranges and yellows.


I created a little leaf tag for the upper left corner of my layout, using a diecut tag and a chipboard leaf.


The stickers in Hello Autumn were one of my favorite things! I just love the sticker tabs that I can adhere to photos or papers. And that leaf paper is the best ever!


I had a lot of fun layering and creating with Hello Autumn!  The patterned papers, stickers, and chipboard embellishments are all fabulous! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Be back tomorrow with another Bella Blvd layout. :)

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Friday, September 19, 2014

One Little Bird | 2014 Project Life | July P.2


I’m slowly progressing on my July Project Life pages.  Yes, I’m sort of behind, but I’m not too stressed about it.  It’s been hot in my upstairs craft room the last month.  I’ve scrapbooked downstairs a little bit, but my workflow is best when it’s upstairs where I have access to all my supplies.

July page 2:  We went to Julio’s birthday party; we went running at the lake; lots of cute Noodle antics; we went to the San Diego Symphony Pops concert featuring the music of Abba, where there was fireworks over the SD Bay afterwards.


Supplies:  I used all One Little Bird digital journal cards.  Everything is from the new Who I Am digital kit and journal cards, except for the upper left camera card, which is from This Magic Moment

Who I Am digital kit – on sale this weekend for 20% off!

Who I Am journal cards – also on sale for 20% off this weekend!


Details.  I added a wood veneer camera and enamel dots to this journal card to add some dimension.


I typed right onto the digital journal card before printing it out.  Then I added the photo, the alpha stickers, the wood veneer, and sequins.


Love the yellow and gray together.



A photo collage of our night at the symphony, along with some journaling.


After I printed this card out I stapled the tickets to it and embellished the rest of the card.


I’m slowly making progress with each page.  I have the rest of July’s photos printed out and into pockets.  Just need to add journal cards & embellish. 

How are you doing with Project Life? 

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