Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Everyday Garbage Challenge #4 is up!

Well unfortunately the pic does not do the layout justice! I used so many thick textured things like RAM sticks from computers, the cd with chipboard on top and a name badge that it wouldn't scan at all and even the photographs are not happy campers today unfortunately!!! I promise it looks heaps better IRL!!! Anyway this was for our Garage/Hubby stuff layout that went up this afternoon and I've used the RAM sticks, a chipset from a PC, some plastic wire sheathing tubes, a CD and a whole pile of little labels that were *apparently* meant for Doug to use to put on his little plastic storage boxes for his computer stuff......sorry babe!!!! This was a fun one and I'm sure the acid free brigade would be horrified at all the stuff I've used that isn't "safe" but I like it anyhow!!!

I was over at Cass's place today and tried on *the dress* again - yep it definitely fits better than two weeks ago. And well it bloody would want to after the two weeks of busting my chubby butt at the gym and being sooooo careful with everything I eat but alas it's still not fitting the way I want it to and so I'm going to have to be really strong and put in a bit more effort if I want to see more results. My personal trainer Liam is being so helpful, always encouraging, doing sessions with me for no charge and everyone at the gym is being amazingly helpful as the big day gets closer.

We did go out and get bridesmaid dresses today for Cass and Lus - they are absolute identicals of my dress except that instead of the ivory/buttery colour of my dress, theirs is gorgeous turqoise colour with turqoise and silver beading exactly the same as mine. We were lucky and I did have a "thank you God" moment in the shop as we found two - the last two in each size - that we needed and for the price we were happy to pay so I was a thankful chickie today! I also had a go at putting together my boquet this afternoon but Cass rocks at this kind of stuff so she told me that I need more of this, more of that so I have to go out Thursday and get more of the kind of flowers I want and more of the ones I want for the bridesmaid boquets. We also had a bit of a think about the table arrangements and stuff like that. Doug and I still have to finish off the ceremony stuff that we want and get that back to the celebrant so we can do up order of service thingys if we want them plus I have to try to hunt up some of those Balinese flags - you know, the tall pointed ones on long poles? - yep need some of them apparently to mark off the area for the ceremony as technically it is in a public place. I really will need to sit down again with a list of things that need doing or in my scatterbrained chaos I am seriously going to forget things!!!

Oooooh I want to share something that we're doing at Cyberscraps - like classes but better - but we're still getting the nuts and bolts figured out so I can't blab just yet but keep an eye out and I'll post as soon as it's sorted. Think of something along the lines of personal training for your scrapping!!!!

Anyway what else is going on? My full time typing gig is over and tomorrow I'm back in the shop - YAY!!!!!!! Can't believe how much I miss the place - and Cass - when I'm at home. I also really miss getting some scrapping done as I haven't done anything at home in weeks now. I'm behind in all my challenge blogs that I like to participate in and it really makes me feel out of the loop when I can't get a great theme or challenge done because there just isn't time. Anyone got a spare 10 hours per day to lend me cos I really need them!!!! lol

The kids are all good - Blayd is excited about his Australian championship tournament for the National All Styles circuit down in Sydney the week after the wedding. His flight is booked and the accom is sorted and now I've got to sit down with him and do a really detailed food list for him so he can manage his diet on his own while he's gone. For anyone who's not a regular blog reader, my eldest has a form of autism (pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified or PDD-NOS) and incredibly luckily for him he functions and behaves 90% "normal" (whatever that's meant to be in this day and age!) as long as he sticks to a diet that excludes artificial colours, preservatives, flavour enhancers and virtually all salicylates (link to "are you feeding your kids healthy junk" in my sidebar goes to the website for the FAILSAFE diet which he does). It's a really hard diet with so many things he can't have so it's so important that he learns what he can have to avoid a reaction which in him is full on autistic behaviours like banging his head againast a wall, rages, tantrums, self-harm, all those scary things. So he will be under the care of his Sensei for three days as Doug and I can't afford to go with him and I do want him to learn some independence (even though he'll be under very close adult supervision and I trust his Sensei absolutely) so the mother instinct is to want to go with him but I do have to let him go a bit otherwise he won't learn for himself. Hard to do.......

Lachlann is going well, sleeping better and being very affectionate which is great. He's also learning the value of admitting when he's done the wrong thing and is really great about coming up to me and apologising after he's been in trouble for something. I've been trying to teach him that nothing is so bad that he can't turn it around if he's only willing to try and it looks like he's getting that which is great for him and for all of us really.

James is loving school and is almost at the end of his very first year. Can't believe it's gone so fast and how "grown up" he's become in a year. He's also completely obsessed with Ben 10 - a cartoon on Cartoon Network on Foxtel. About some kid who has a thing on his wrist like a watch, called an Omnitrix, which he can use to turn into all these different aliens whenever he needs to for the purposes of fighting evil. It's one of those things like Dora - kids started watching it on Foxtel and then before you know it there is Dora on every bit of crap and toy you can imagine. He went through the same phase with Blues Clues when he was 2 and 3 - had Blues Clues everything he could get his hands on. He's enthusiastic I'll give him that!

Caeligh is her usual ratbag self, pushing her boundaries and testing her limits every day. She is getting better. She doesn't throw a wobble if I go to the gym as long as I get cold water from the gym water cooler and bring it home in my water bottle for her when I'm done. She's finally learning to stay in her own bed all night. She's also learned that she can jump from the TOP OF OUR TV UNIT - about 7 feet high - onto the armchairs nearby and apparently it's funny and if you ask her "oh it's not dangerous!!!". I fear what the kid will do to herself in the nannoseconds when I have to use the bathroom or answer the phone. I do my best to keep an eagle eye on her but anyone with little kids knows how quick they are!

Doug is a fraction frazzled of late - the kids are all being really testing and his patience is quite thin at the moment which is really hard for him as usually he is more tolerant than I am. I think the pressure of money, work, kids, his mother's seemingly constant needs and wants and demands, the wedding and just stuff in general is taking it's toll on him and he isn't relaxing as much as he could be. I think we're all in serious need of a holiday but the cash just isn't there but it's something to aim for and save up for. We did want to buy a clapped out second hand caravan with a double bed and a couple of bunks inside and a canvas annexe so the big boys could sleep out there on fold out beds but apparently lots of second-hand caravan companies buy the ones in need of repair and do them up themselves for a profit so finding a cheap one (we're talking a couple of thousand tops and if I could find a give away then even better!!!! lol) is proving difficult so like anything on the wants list it will have to wait. But a holiday of any kind would be great over the Christmas break so I'll see what I can organise. Gotta give us mummies one thing- we can come up with something amazing out of seemingly nothing sometimes!!!

I'm off to the gym now for my nightly torture session plus more of the same for the rest of the week. Don't forget to check out Everyday Garbage if you want to check out everyone else's fab work for the latest challenge.

Thanks for visiting and for the comments too! Hope you're all having a good week. Love Lu!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

All About Eve challenge - secrets

This is my contribution to All About Eve's "secrets" challenge. Nothing too shocking - I love this pair of shoes - the only shocking part is that they're only for wearing "at home" ;) lol

Friday, 26 October 2007

Quick update

Well the week has been fairly uneventful (apart from the rat!!!! lol) and not too much is going on. I'm still working hard at the gym but I'm starting to find the diet hard but not anywhere near giving up yet as there's just over four weeks until the wedding so it's only a sprint now, nota marathon and I'm sure I can keep going until then.

I'm going to Cass's place Tuesday to try "the dress" on again. The scales haven't shifted in over a week but I have lost 5cms off my waist so I'll take that measurement instead of the scales any day!!!! Apparently because I'm doing the weights yadda yadda yadda anyhow muscle weighs twice as much as fat so I'm doing something constructive but it's still nice to see the scales move. I'll have to hop on their body composition scales next time I'm in to get a more accurate picture of where I'm at. I can see the differences still happening though and it's good motivation for continuing when normally I would have give up by now due to lack of willpower!
Above are a couple of pics of the invitations. They aren't all the same because basically I used pretty much whatever was in my stash and I didn't have enough of any one thing to do all of them the same but I figure hey, I'm a big believer in not striving for perfection and everyone knows I'm pretty relaxed anyway! lol Besides I figure nobody is so lacking in entertainment that they're going to go round catching up with other friends and rellies to compare invitation colours!!!! I just bought cheap KaiserCraft blank card packs from Crazy Clarks (at $2 for 6 plain white cards and envelopes they're a bargain!) and used one of the new Fancy Pants "From The Garden" stamps - thanks to Cass for her serious stamping effort!!! - and then used Kaiser stick on bling in silver, hot pink and light pink in the centres of the stamped on flowers. I bought a couple of rolls of cheap grossgrain ribbon from Spotlight for a dollar each and used bling flowers and prima flowers from my stash so all up I think the invites cost me maybe $30 for 40 of them so I'm a happy camper! The inserts I just printed myself on the computer using lovely washboard print lightweight paper that I had at home in a cupboard from the last time Doug and I were planning a wedding (about 7 years ago!). I also stamped the envelopes (or should I say Cass did!!! lol) to match the front design and they were done! Doug was a help in sticking all the inserts in and my eldest son Blayd (12) sat for hours with me putting on all the stick on bling in the flower centres. I'm seriously impressed that a 12 yo boy would be so willing to help so I made sure I heaped on the praise and thanks for pitching in to help. So they need to get sent today and while I realise it's not the huge months in advance sending that most wedding invites have, I figure it's not a big deal and we're a bit more casual than that.
Cass and I went into the Quilt and Craft show yesterday here in Brisbane and had a quick look around (difficult with Caeligh the tornado and Lily the princess with us for company but what can you do? They don't allow you to leave them in the car anymore......I promise I'm kidding.....if I left Caeligh in the car she'd probably work out how to hot wire it and steal it!!! lol). I bought the usual things, more VersaColour inks from that place that always has them $10 for four of them cos you can never have enough ink! I bought five Aqualip/Glaze pens - they're like the white and coloured souffle pens Cass and I absolutely love, they leave a very slightly raised solid line but the souffle ones are a matt finish whereas the ones I bought are a glossy shiny finish. I've been looking everywhere for them and they're really hard to find in shops. It's more the stamping shops so far that I've found them at. If you're a big freehand drawing/doodling fan on your layouts then seriously try to find some of these awesome pens!!!! They are Sakura brand and I'm totally in love with them and go through the ones I do find really quickly. I also bought some v.cute dice brads even though I'm not a huge brad fan, bought Caeligh some sticker packs to keep her somewhat happy and found a great MDF briefcase (Cass bought one, showed me and I went straight over and bought one too) as it's a great size to hopefully fit all of my inks in one place. Right now they take up lots of space in my big tool box and I'm running out of room for tools. I tend to keep my Fiskars, adhesives, pens, etc in the box but the inks are steadily taking up more room and after buying yet more yesterday there just isn't anywhere else to put them so I'm glad Cass found the briefcases. Honestly I must have almost a hundred inks (got that great 50 pack of VersaCube inks with my SM subscription a couple of years ago and have used virtually all of them even though when I got them I took one look at all the weird and wonderful colours and said "no way am I gonna use all these!" but I have and then gone looking for more!!!). So that's pretty much all I bought but we did catch up with the lovely Sandra and Rachelle for coffee and a chat and said a quick hello to Andrea whom we've only met once before. We didn't get quite the detailed look at the place that we would have liked but sometimes that's how it goes.
Tonight we've got crop night at the shop which will be fun as always. I've got to finish up the class layouts/OTP for November as well as do my Everyday Garbage layout for our next challenge (no hints here but look on the blog later today) as well as a stack of challenge blog layouts that I want to do for myself. I've got my idea for All About Eve worked out and just need to take the photo to go with it and I'm still working out in my head what to do for One Little Word and Aussie Dares. Still loving all the great challenge blogs out there even though I feel like I have bugger all time to do any of them lately.
I've got today and tomorrow left of my full time typing gig and then it's back to Mondays and Saturdays. The money has come at a really handy time but how far it will go I'm not sure. I will however be very happy to get back into the shop next week and be able to have that set aside time to get scrapping done that I just can't seem to find at home no matter how hard I try! My desk here usually ends up as a paperwork repository for junk mail, school notes, magazines and everything but scrapping stuff.
Here's a scary thought - time to start thinking about Christmas!!!! We've at least gotten as far as putting everything on lay-by for the kids that we wanted to get them so that's one big part already taken care of. The other pain in the butt is Christmas lunch which we always have here at home. This year we've noticed that Caeligh really seems to go crackers if she has preservatives in her diet and Blayd can't have them at all because of the intolerances he has so while last year we fudged things a bit and let Blayd have a bit of normal leg ham, this year I don't think we can do it with Caeligh being as sensitive to it as she seems to be. It's probably worse because she doesn't have preservatives at all and so on the rare occasions she gets them in her diet by accident the reaction is huge and very noticeable. So the plan is to find a butcher who does hams the traditional way, salted and smoked naturally without any artificial smoke flavour, the colour that is sometimes added to make it look better, and the truckload of nitrate preservatives that are added as part of the normal curing process for most butchers. I know it will be expensive to do it that way but it's hard to put a price on the look on Blayd's face when I tell him that he can have everything on the table instead of just pointing out the stuff that's safe for him to eat. Caeligh loves ham so it would be very hard to not let her have any. I can hear some people thinking that it's Christmas for goodness sake and what harm will one day do but for Blayd especially the behavioural side effects last for two to three days and as it's already a stressful busy time of year I can do without it all. And let's face it, Caeligh is just off the charts most of the time and I honestly in good conscience can't feed her anything I know will make her behaviour worse as she's a danger to herself now with the risky, dangerous things she likes to do. Her latest trick is to climb up our entertanment unit (seven foot high mind you!) and then jump about a metre forward and onto an armchair nearby. She's totally without fear and we still haven't found a deterrant yet for her to stop doing it. We don't have the room to move the furniture around because there will always be a couch or armchair near enough to jump to. I'm going to have to think about that one and work something out quickly before she breaks a limb. She always waits until people have left the room and then does it and I'm finding it hard to watch her every waking moment. Oh loving the challenging behaviour........
I'm going now that I've kept you all from whatever you should be doing by typing out this massive post!!! Thank you for taking time out to read if you've made it this far. Have a fab weekend no matter what you're doing and I'll try to post a bit more regularly so it isn't all in one big chunk!!!
Lotta love, Lu

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The only thing worse.....

.....than finding a rat on the back doorstep? Finding half a rat.......! lol

Friday, 19 October 2007

Just over five weeks to go!

Til the BIG DAY!!! I don't know if I'm nervous, more just excited I think as we've thought about it for so long off into the future that now that it's so close it's a bit weird now!!! lol

We met with our celebrant on Sunday afternoon. She's a really lovely lady and made us feel very relaxed and comfortable with her right away which is great. We did our paperwork and all that kind of thing and this week I've printed out heaps of different vows, ring exchange wordings, etc that she emailed me. Just have to get Doug to sit down for half an hour to choose things he likes. I've done that already, some just seemed like the perfect choice straight away so it wasn't hard. I hope he likes the same stuff!!! I'd hate for us to have our first ever big argument over the wording of our wedding vows!!! lol

I've gotten almost all the flowers I want for my boquet and for Cass and Lusi's as well. Because I really want to wear the yellowy ivory dress I've gone for cream coloured lillies, peonies, cabbage roses, etc plus whatever else I see between now and whenever I do up the boquets. Cass and Lus will have fuschia-dark pink orchids, lillies, etc. The flower girls have their dresses so that's something taken care of. I've still got to work out what the boys will wear, probably just dress pants and a button up shirt or something. Lachie still wants a full penguin suit and I still can't talk him out of it!!!! Something will have to be done about that boy!

I've got the styrofoam dummy cake layers to use as a stand for my cupcake mountain thing. That will be a fun job the day before the wedding and another reason I'm using artificial flowers cos I don't want to have to do two big jobs the day before. I've also found cute little pink and white butterfly sprinkles at Woolworths that don't have any nasties in them (very rare indeed!) so they'll probably get used. I bought a pack of 100 white bakery sized big cupcake papers at Spotlight last night so I'll put them somewhere safe (e.g. on the moon if I don't want Caeligh to get them!!).

I've been trying so hard to be good and focussed on the weight thing so that the dress will fit. I tried it on at Cass's place this week and it zips up but it's really tight across my bum and tum - look like a very classy rolled roast!!!! lol But I know it won't stay like that. I'm sticking to my 1200cal/30g fat per day diet which for me has been really hard. I'm an absent eater and I just pick up stuff and eat without ever adding it all up. The food diary has been the best thing for me, writing down every single thing as I eat makes me realise how much I ordinarily would have had. Even a couple of chocolate biscuits here and there or a handful of chips or a couple of slices of pizza all add lots of empty calories to the total and I can see how all my habitual snacking has made me gain so much weight cos I just eat without a second thought as to how much is in all of it and if I'm not exercising then it's far more than I can use up. I've had a good weeek at the gym too, working really hard, pushing myself. I did a pump class on Tuesday night which felt like it was going to kill me and by Wednesday afternoon I thought it might! I even got up Wednesday morning and went to the gym for a half hour on the treadmill so I wouldn't get that awful post-heavy exercise agony but because I'm sitting 8 or 9 hours a day to type it's happened anyway because I'm not moving during the day. At least in the shop I'm up and down and moving around alot but not doing that enough at home. I had a personal trainer session with the v.cute Liam yesterday morning. We did boxing!!!! I'm a bit unco so learning the moves was fine but putting them together in different combinations of punches was hard! Then the sprints up and down the training room weren't fun either but I got through it okay and then he cheerily says to me "okay now you can go do your cardio for the day!!!". I was sweating, puffing, exhausted and quite sure I had done all I had to do!!! lol So onto the treadmill for half an hour again but feeling better today. I can see how people can be discouraged though - I've lost 2kg but nothing for a couple of days now despite the extr hard work in the last few days but I can definitely see my body shape continuing to change even though the scales aren't moving. I can only assume that I'm adding some muscle mass as I lose fat so that's why it's balancing out. I can't wait to try the dress on again next week and see if it fits a little better. All the trainers at the gym are being amazingly supportive and they all know why I'm there and what I want to achieve so they often come over, ask what the plan is for that day and offer suggestions to up it a bit or they spend some time doing things like sit ups/crunches etc with me as I HATE doing those. I'm still quietly amazed that I haven't fallen off the wagon yet as normally I would have but I did ask for God's help in this, to improve my health and to fit into the dress I had bought and again He's come through with extra resolve for me at a time when I thought I would be worried and stressed and freaking out about every little thing but that hasn't happened either. I'm feeling calm and relaxed and figure everything will sort it self out and I can only do what I can do and if some things don't get done like little details then most people won't even notice I bet.

Now what's happening in the scrapping world? I haven't heard about Masters but heard that final decisions also haven't been made yet but very soon so fingers crossed for all us shortlisted girls. That would make a nice wedding present though wouldn't it??? nudge, nudge, wink, wink if Casey and Krys ever read this!!! lol

The shop is still busy, the October offer is really popular which is great. We just keep getting in more and more stock all the time and we're seriously running out of room. Good thing Cass is an organisational genius!!! She's there alone at the moment while I'm at home typing and I miss our chatter and deep and meaningfuls over the paper racks when it's quiet. I also miss that time to just get layouts done. I haven't done that all week at home but Cass and I are getting together tonight to do some scrapping for the shop so I won't be completely deprived!!! lol

Doug ended up winning tickets from Triple M to the Indy this weekend on the Gold Coast so he's taken a day off work to go down. Blayd is on an excursion to Australia Zoo and I've had to work so Doug left Caeligh with his mum (we might take her tomorrow or Sunday) and he and Lachlann and James have gone off for the day. I made him promise me he would get them both ear plugs. I don't care if he doesn't want to take care of his own hearing but the noise as soon as you get close to the track down there is just amazingly loud so ear plugs are an essential! Doug's more into the V8's than the champ cars but today he'll get to see both. It will be a big experience for the boys as last year we thought James was a bit small to go so we didn't take any of them and Doug and I just went by ourselves but this year I think they'll all be better able to handle the noise, crowds, etc. The passes he won are for the whole four days so he's going today, maybe tomorrow and we're not sure about Sunday, which is the big race day for the V8's and the champ cars. He also won tickets to the Indy Fest concert on tomorrow afternoon and into the evening. He has very kindly donated those to Cass and I if we want to go down as he's not into the whole concert thing and he knows we'd probably enjoy it more. Small Mercies, Kiss Chasey and Good Charlotte are playing and I'd love to see them so we'll see logistically how that works out as I have to work until about lunchtime tomorrow. This year the tickets he has won include flexi-seating as well along the track. Last year we just won paddock passes which meant you could get in and wander around all day - yep like cows in a paddock but there was no seating anywhere!!! So he's excited to have a place to sit down and watch for a while this time. He's made off with my camera and his old crap digital camera as well which I think he said he was going to let James use. Jamie is turning into quite the camera buff, taking mine every chance he gets and he's not got a bad eye either! Maybe for Christmas he will get a cheap low end Kodak or something for him to practise his photography skills.

Is anyone else doing anything exciting this weekend? It's getting towards the end of the year and Christmas shopping is upon us again. Thank goodness the shops aren't all decked out just yet. My kids never get it that actual Christmas is so far away from when the shops get decorated. Caeligh and James figure Santa is coming any day now and I have to keep saying that Santa is frickin ages away yet!!! But they look at all the shopping centres done up and say "but it's Christmas -look at all the trees and the lights!!!". It's hard to explain commercialism to little kids.......it doesn't make me feel festive, just annoyed that they peak soo early these days.

Okay I'm going back to my typing (the work kind!!!) and I'll try to get some pics up of the invitations and the flowers etc next week cos a couple of you asked to see them. Thank you to everyone who has emailed or commented and left congratulations for us. It's a reminder of how not alone we actually are and I loved reading everyone's kind words. I think some people who know Doug and I are more excited than we are!!!! lol

Have a fab weekend and thanks for visiting. Lotta love, Lu

Monday, 15 October 2007

What am I scrapping?

We got in all our new My Mind's Eye stock last week at Cyberscraps (the October offer is still going if you want to grab some goodies and get a 50% store credit for whatever you spend - postage excluded etc) and I decided to sit down and do some craft knife work which I haven't done in AGES! So I've used two pieces of the same paper and just cut out the flower shapes out of one with a craft knife and then used pop dots to layer them over the original sheet. I've also gone a bit berko with aqua and beige souffle pens and done lots of outlining and using the cut out shapes to trace around and then fill in the pattern by hand with the souffle pens (that hand drawn part along the bottom). Thanks to Lusi for your fabulous photo of Doug and I - I really should let other people do the shooting from time to time!

Now THIS gorgeous young man is Cass's boy Ronin - a cherub if ever there was one - in looks anyway!!! He's very much like caeligh - can't see the horns on the outside!!! lol I've used some ScrapWare chipboard flourishes and those drop dead gorgeous flowers are our new Prima range that came in last week as well. They are satin and look old and vintage dyed and they are just beautiful.
This week is update week for most of the challenge blogs so there will be a new OLW (didn't even get around to doing the current one), a new AAE challenge (which was my Pink layout), there will be a new Dare this week (I've missed you guys even if it's only been two weeks!!!!) and of course tomorrow there will be a new Everyday Garbage challenge and I'm still putting the finishing touches on that one - slack me!!!
The weight loss is going well - 1kg down since this time last week even though I haven't been able to get to the gym over the weekend with all the running around for wedding stuff. We went to the reception place Saturday afternoon and sat down with the head chef and the functions manager and just went over what we wanted. It's almost exactly what I had planned but I'll have to make a few changes here and there and I can deal with that. Then we took the kids down to the beach at Wellington Point (where we're going to have the ceremony) and after having a look around I think I would far and away prefer to have the ceremony in the park under the fig trees as the sand isn't really dry white sand like a normal beach but wet packed sand. We can always venture down to the sand for pics after the ceremony. So something else to sort out in my head about how to go about setting up, etc. The hardest part about being the bride is that everything I would normally set up myself I can't do as I'm supposed to be getting ready!!! lol Maybe there's a teeny weeny bit of control freak in there somewhere as I'd really love to be the one to set up the ceremony area and I'd love to be there early setting up the reception tables for dinner as well but I'm going to have to hand those things over to others unfortunately. I'm sure it will all work out just fine whoever does it!
Okay I'm back to work now. I have typing to do plus invitations to print out. Cass and I are making them ourselves tomorrow and as of yet I have very little idea of what I want them to look like!!! lol I've got the new Fancy Pants "fron the garden" stamps that I might use cos they're gorgeous as well as some suede finish frangipanis and crystal brads. We'll see what comes together!
Take care, love Lu

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Migraine gone!!! lol

Wow what a week it's been here in my house! The kids are all excited about the wedding and as things often do, the plans have changed quite a bit since I last blogged.

We were originally doing the Registry Office thing and then I remembered my lovely friend Tash's wedding which was on a clifftop overlooking the beach and ocean and I remember thinking how much I wish we had been closer to the sand and the water. The beach has always had huge magnetic pull for me and I feel so calm, happy and centred when I'm there so I put it to Doug that maybe we could get married on a beach someplace. I thought right away he'd say no as he's not really a beach person (but he does an excellent job of tolerating it for the rest of us each summer!) but he liked the idea so we started thinking of beaches and what was available for reception ideas in the surrounding areas of the beaches we liked. We also wanted to look for our favourite Irish band - Tullamore Tree - to play at the reception as we'd always promised ourselves we'd get them if we ever got married. It turns out they were unavailable on the Saturday night we'd originally planned but were playing at the Wellington Point Hotel on the Sunday afternoon so as we weren't committed to a Saturday wedding we've decided to make it Sunday afternoon instead so we could have our favourite band there. We've also decided on a 2pm wedding down on the beach at Wellington Point which is a nice area with a conservation island about half a kilometre off shore and at low tide (yep it is a really really low tide!!! lol) you can walk from the mainland out to the island and back. So we've decided to go with the whole beach thing which is going to be fab. Then we're off to the hotel for a cocktail type reception with drinks, music and platters of yummy things to snack on. The band plays from 3.30pm until about 7.00pm so we've got a few hours to while away and hopefully get a chance to have a dance and enjoy the company of our guests. Afterwards we are going to give people the option to stay on for a more formal reception dinner on the rear deck in the restaurant if they'd like to. Because we're not asking for gifts (after ten years together I think we've got just about everything newlyweds would need!!! lol) we're going to ask guests to pay for their own dinner if they wish to stay. I was a bit iffy about that at first as it seems a bit rude but we are on a really tight budget and we'll be supplying everything for the cocktail reception ourselves so we thought people would understand if we explain how we're going to work things. That way people have the option to spend time with us and then head off if they don't wish to stay on for dinner. We're certainly not forcing people. It will be nice for whoever is able and willing to stay on to join us as we're having the cake and all that jazz after dinner. The reception venue have been just amazing so far. They've allowed us to reserve their huge outside dining deck which overlooks the water, offered to set up all the tables as a formal wedding reception with the whole white linen thing and even set up our table decorations for us at no cost. I can't believe how helpful they've been. We've got an appointment after I finish typing on Saturday afternoon to go down and actually clap eyes on the venue and choose the cocktail reception menu and just confirm everything we want to do. Then on Sunday we have an appointment with a really lovely celebrant I found on Tuesday (after much prodding from Cass who reasoned that if we don't have a celebrant - given that the paperwork needs to be lodged in a week or so - then we're not going to be getting married no matter how lovely the floral arrangements I'm thinking about!!! She's a clever girl my Cass, knowing what needs to get done while my head is off in the clouds thinking about some other little thing that probably nobody else will notice but me!!! I'm great with the creative detail but really crap at getting the important stuff done and anyone who knows me will attest to that.

So as of today we have the reception booked, the celebrant booked, the venue for the ceremony and I think I've even decided on a colour scheme which is what I'm good at.

Oh yep and as of this afternoon I HAVE THE DRESS!!!! EEEEEEKK! I have spent the last week traipsing around all kinds of snooty bridal shops, trying to politely and without looking to pov-arse, ask where their sale/ex-hire/budget rack is so I can find something I'm happy with. I don't want a Vera Wang here people, I just want something I'm happy with how I look in. And I know that for most of us that's a tall order too, especially for me as I'm carrying about 10kg more than I'm comfortable with right now. I still have more on top of that but that 10kg I've put on in the last few years is the one that rules out the stuff in my wardrobe I really like, stops me from fitting into off the rack stuff at most chain stores and means the difference between a size 14 item of "normal" clothing and a size 18/20 chumba whumba outfit at a "big girls" shop. Yes I know it shouldn't matter, yes I should love myself regardless of size and all that spin but hey - when you can't find anything that doesn't grab at every chubby bit you've got then you have a problem!!!! And let's not forget how flattering shiny white fabric can be to the larger woman!!! Not bloody flattering at all!!! It's an exercise in depression while trying to keep my self-respect and dignity in tact as yet another long nosed bridal store assistant shows me the "larger sizes" range - which by the way all look the same - and tut tuts at me as I say no to yet another strapless flowing thing which is supposed to flatter and camoflage the lower body. I DON'T WANT FREAKIN CAMOFLAGE - IT'S A WEDDING NOT A MILITARY ASSAULT!!! I want something pretty, something sexy, something that doesn't make me look like the side of a white delivery van as I turn around. There's a reason they only have one big mirror in front of you cos you'd never buy anything if they had those 360 degree ones like Trinny and Susannah have. You'd just collapse on the floor of their elegant bridal shop and start howling for Tim Tams - that's what you'd do!!! Okay, well it's what I'd do........ So in frustration today I visited what I figured would be the last shop I'd look at for a while. I have a very understanding gym who realise that I have to shift some of the weight before I will be comfortable in my own skin (and eventual dress) for the big day and they've set me up with great nutritional advice and an exercise regime to follow for the next six weeks so I can - as they say in the army - be the best I can be. Hey maybe it IS a military thing........! I walked in and lo and behold their sale section was about ten times as big as their new section! I suddenly saw boundless possibilities from full on bridal to cocktail dresses and formal gowns. I have however been strangely drawn to the beaded sheath dresses I've seen which I never would have normally looked at and I still can't explain why I like it but I have found (DOUGLAS IF YOU'RE CHECKING MY BLOG THEN DON'T READ THIS PART!!!!!) a gorgeous, georgette, floor length beaded spaghetti strap buttery ivory coloured sheath dress which is bridal yet very beachy looking and I absolutely love and the best part was it was well within what I was going to spend on a dress (and I can tell you it wasn't much!! lol) but the slightly scary part is that I purposefully bought one that is a tight fit on me. Now I plan on using the dress as motivation because I love it that much that I really actually do want to wear it in six weeks and have it actually fit comfortably. So I have some work to do which is okay with me. Some of the weight has to come off anyway so it will be nice if I can get partway there while getting on with the wedding preparation as hopefully the time will fly and it won't be as hard going, knowing that I've got something wonderful to look forward to at the end of it.

So there you go, no scrapping or anything but some good wedding plans going on!!! lol

There's a crop at Cyberscraps tomorrow night if anyone is up for it - just ring us at the shop to let us know if you want to come on 07 3274 55 22 and also we're having a great special for October on line as well - whatever you spend online in the store (excluding postage etc) we will give you 50% back as store credit to use next time so that's really stretching the scrapping budget further especially as we've got so much gorgeous new stock in, terrible to the point where we're running out of room for it all!!! How awful is that??? NOT!!!! lolo Hop over to Cyberscraps and check it out if you're up for some great priced scrapping supplies plus 50% store credit as well. It doesn't get much better than that!

Okay well I've got to head off to bed soon, if beauty sleep is in order then I'm going to need at least my 8 hours a night (plus a few weeks solid huh!!!). Have a good weekend and don't forget to check out the fab entries for the Everyday Garbage blog for this fortnight. Clever chickies having fun with us over there!!!

Chat soon, love Lu

Monday, 8 October 2007

Saturday, 6 October 2007

All About Eve - Music

Here's my take on All About Eve's latest challenge - Music. I've loved music all my life, always have the radio on in the car and love to sing. Pink has been my favourite singer for a while now, her whole look, attitude and music really speak to me and her "I'm Not Dead" album is one of those rare ones where I actually love just about every song on it which doesn't happen often for me. So I find her very inspirational, strong, opinionated and ballsy - all the good qualities I like and try to foster in myself! lol She's definitely a bit of a muse for me.

Saturday already and some BIG news!!!

Here's what I got up to at the shop on Wednesday. I had a terrible tragedy of running out of photo paper so the only stuff left was canvas paper which is why the pics look a bit weird! lol I'm having a serious invasion of the style snatchers moment and these layouts are a bit different for me but I'm still happy with them. The top one I really love just because of the colours. Don't you love the pic of my darling dd with the dirty face!!! lol That's a permanent thing for her, always grubby! The second one is a pic I took of James last weekend at Lusi's picnic. I'm eternally grateful that at least one kid will always pose on command for me - or at least look up when I tell him to and realise I'm trying to take a picture so not make a funny face at me constantly.......!
Yesterday I got my All About Eve layout done but it's not scanned yet so that will come later today probably. Very happy with it. This fortnight's challenge is music and whatever music means to you.
OLW this fortnight is GONE and while the first instinct is to mourn something that is gone, I purposely won't do that and I'll try to focus on something positive if I can cos that's just what I prefer to do. So I'll give that some thought today but I don't think I'll get any scrapping done.
I have to work this morning until lunchtime and then I think we have some shopping to do today as school goes back on Monday and I'm pretty sure there's no lunchbox supplies in the house!!! Tomorrow Doug will be gone all day tomorrow at High Octane for a day of sim racing and entertainment and watching Bathurst on the big screen with his mates from 8.30am until about 5.30pm so I'm doing the racing widow thing all day. The little ones are going to Gran's for a sleepover tonight and spending the day with her tomorrow so that's two less to find ways to entertain for 9 hours. Blayd will be at his State Titles for karate all day with his teacher so it will just be Lachie and me for the whole day. I've got a few housekeeping type shopping things to do but anyone with more than one kid will tell you (and definitely anyone with four of 'em!!!) it's always a special occasion if you get to spend a whole day with only one of your children without having to take everyone along. The plan for me is to get the shopping stuff over with early and then maybe we'll go see a movie and have lunch or something. I feel like I rarely spend one on one time with my kids, especially the two older boys. I try to get out one night a month and have coffee alone with Blayd or Lachie (we call it "Date Night") but then sometimes if we have lots of things going on that doesn't always happen either. Lachie doesn't know about tomorrow yet and I'm going to surprise him when he and Blayd come home this morning.
Okay in BIG news stories (and no way am I pregnant again!!!!!) - Doug and I have decided to FINALLY get married! We've been together for almost ten years, engaged for about nine of those and we have two children together. We had gotten to within a month of getting married when James was only a newborn as Doug's dad was very sick with terminal cancer and we wanted to tie the knot before he passed away but we couldn't make the plans fast enough and he deteriorated very quickly and passed away before we could organise everything. After that happened we kind of let it all go and didn't think much about it again. After all, we've been very happy for a long time and as both of us has been unhappily married before we weren't sure we wanted to "jinx" what we had by getting married. I know that's totally irrational but there's always that little fear in the back of my mind because you do hear of people who are perfectly happy as live ins or as an engaged couple for a long time and then they decide to get married and for some unknown reason it all goes to pot from there. I have no idea how that happens but I don't want that to happen to us. It is pretty much just a formality but we were watching TV the other night and a show was on about how a couple who had been together for a long time couldn't make important medical decisions for each other as they weren't married but their parents could make decisions even though they weren't close to them or hadn't seen them in a long time. Awful as it sounds, I'm not close to my Dad and if something happened to me I wouldn't want him to be the one to make the decisions as he doesn't know what I would want. Doug is the person who knows me inside and out and he's the only person I want to be making any decisions on my behalf and so we figured that something like that, that could impact our family and our whole lives together, we really should fix it so something like that can't happen. So we just looked at each other and said "How about it?" and we both agreed that we may as well just get it over with!!! lol Yep real romantics we are!!!! So we've set a date of 24th November (only 7 weeks away!!!! AARRRGGH!!!!) and we've started all the paperwork and planning. We've gone and bought our wedding rings a couple of days ago and everyone I've told has been very supportive and excited for us which is nice. I think others are more excited than we are! lol When I told James the only thing he wanted to know was who would be the ring bearer!!! I didn't even know he knew that job existed but he told me that his favourite cartoon character Ben 10 got to be a ring bearer so that's how he knows and he's decided that that's the job for him in the ceremony (which I guess it would have been anyway!). He's already decided for us that Caeligh and Lily will be flower girls and I've already asked Cass to be my matron of honour although there's nothing matronly about my Cass. It will be de ja vu for her though as she was in my bridal party the first time round!! lol But we're both a lot older and a lot wiser and I'm glad that this time I will be getting married for the right reasons and to the right person!
As for stuff like the reception, what on earth I'm going to wear, all those things??? No freaking idea at all!!!!! lol I guess I've got a few weeks to try to sort that out and we don't want to spend much money if we can help it so we'll do what we can with what we can afford. The ceremony itself is going to be Registry Office all the way (I have no idea if a Registry Office wedding has the stigma that it used to but to be totally honest I don't give a damn actually!) so that part is taken care of and all I need to do is find our birth certificates and Decree Nisi from our divorces and go book it a minimum of one month and one day beforehand so I have to remember to do that in the next couple of weeks at the most. They also have really nice photography gardens and the registry is in the old government printery which is a beautiful heritage listed building in the city so good photo opportunities there!!! With so many scrapping friends I can only imagine I'm not going to need to hire a professional photographer!!! lol I do plan on taking my own camera though!!!! Scrapper to the core I am!!
Oh if anyone has any really good tips for a budget wedding in Brisbane or any great tips on how to use my scrapping skills to help with costs then please feel free to comment. I've got every intention of doing the invitations, cake, favours, etc, etc myself but I don't even think I can remember all the details of stuff so if you can think of things then I'd love to hear some ideas!
So there you have it, my big news which isn't really that big but in a way it will be nice to finally make that commitment to each other and it will mean a lot to our kids as well.
I'm off to get some work done now but I'll post up my AAE layout later on. Have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to and I'll chat again soon! Love, Lu

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Everyday Garbage Challenge #2!

Everyday Garbage's second challenge is now up and this fortnight we're challenging you to use things from your bathroom!

We were all excited about this one and we've been posting some hints to give you a bit of direction and we've had some great comments and suggestions to help along the way too.

I've done an OTP which is unusual for me. I'm usually a straight down the line layout kinda girl but I had a Panadol Rapid Handipak in the bathroom cupboard and then on my desk for a few months and I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and realised that it would make a cute little pocket sized mini album! I took out the two sheets of panadol that were inside the packet and used them as the template to cut out the insert pages that I've done. I've also used it to cut patterned paper for the inside cover of the album too. It's called "A Pocket Full Of Michief" which suits my girl right down to the ground. She's very big on making faces every time the camera comes out so that's all I've had to work with! lol I ended up cutting a cover from felt and used a hot glue gun to stick it all the way around plus for the felt flower embellies and the heart as well. I've then put the insert page inside and used a couple of Caeligh's hair ties to hold the insert in place. I'm really surprised at how well it turned out - who would ever have thought you could do so much with a packet of panadol from the bathroom cupboard???? Come on over if you have time and have a look at what we're up to or better still head off to your bathroom and start gathering your supplies! Entries are due in by midnight Sunday 14 October (AEST) so there's plenty of time to get moving. We're also looking for guest Garbage Girls so be sure to get your entries in if you'd like to join us for one of our upcoming challenges.

Apart from the mini, album I haven't done much other scrapping. I'm hoping I'll be able to do some tomorrow at the shop as I met up with Lusi for a picnic on Saturday and met some of her lovely friends. Jilly was there with her gorgeous twin boys and they and my son James hit it off like a house on fire. Now Jilly and I are both being driven mad with requests for play dates!!! lol I've got some great photos so I'll have to either try printing them at home to use or get out to Harvey at some point before work tomorrow. Lusi goes back home today. We had a great night last night, meeting up with her and Nat for coffee up at Mt Coot-tha at the lookout for an evening of chatting and lots of laugher! We even got some pics in cos we're never without the cameras! Lusi - MISSING YOU ALREADY BABE!!!!!

James is at home at the moment, being really helpful, tidying up and watching TV for the most part. Caeligh is at kindy today and the big boys are with their dad until the end of the week. It's definitely quieter but the dynamic of the whole house is different too and I miss them heaps.

I'm working today and then in a couple of weeks I'll be doing two weeks full time which will hopefully give us the rest of the bond money we need to move over the Christmas holidays. It's weird now that we have a little bit of savings in the bank. Before, when we literally didn't have a cent spare each payday, I could have thought of a thousand things to spend money on if we had any but now there's money there and I could go and buy those things, I don't actually want to! I've never been good with saving and money does seem to burn a hole in my pocket so I'm trying really hard not to find things to spend it on. I don't want to live payday to payday for the rest of my life and at some point I have to learn to say "stop the spending!!!" so we can get ahead. I also worry that my money habits will rub off on the kids and I don't want for them the lack of money skills I've had most of my life. We're trying to introduce a payment system for their chores so they can learn to put some of it away, some for spending, etc.

Almost everything is back in my kitchen now but we need to go look for another kitchen table and chairs as ours were third or fourth hand when we got them and I don't have to tell you how unkind kids are to furniture! lol So it's dinner at the coffee table for us for the moment but funny enough the kids don't care......I guess they figure they're closer to the television!! lol Now that the kitchen is almost done, the laundry has been piling up while we haven't been able to get in and out of the back door easily because of workmen and mess and stuff everywhere. It just never ends does it? You get on top of one mess and then you turn around to find something else that needs sorting out! Doug does most of the laundry but he's back at work this week and I'll be doing it because even though I'm working, I'm still at home and have time to put on a load, put out a load, etc.

I best get back to work but just thought I'd check in about the EDG blog stuff. Thanks for coming by and having a look. I really do want to do more blog surfing and commenting but I'm struggling to find the time to do even the most basic stuff like keeping in touch with the girls on the Cyberscraps forum, keeping the EDG blog running and remembering to post in my blog. Chuck in some photo editing and answering emails and I feel like there's just not enough time left in the day.

Anyway I hope the school hols are treating you girls with kids okay - I've been really lucky that I haven't heard the catchcry "I'm bored" too often, it's been more like "there's nothing to eat!" with James here by himself. Far out for a skinny kid he puts away a lot of snacks!!! It's his lunchtime now so I better go find him something before he fades away!

Chat again soon, love Lu

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