Rock Band rocks (my music) - it's so funny

We hit the entertainment jackpot this year when we got Guitar Hero ll for MIke fof Christmas. We've had dozens of kids in our basement rocking out to the likes of Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Kiss, and more. Many of the songs and groups are straight from the 70's - I hear strains of songs I haven't even thought of for 30 years and I'll be darned: I can sing almost every word. Sometimes I stand in the doorway of the TV room where they are playing and proclaim, "That's MY music." Yes, the best music is from when I was a teen. The music from the eighties (like La Bamba) is just, well, so eighties. These photos are mostly Merilee's family - look at how proud Mer is of Val's karaoke talents.

Merilee is enjoying her sons and their wives (and her hubby Val) as they rock the night away. We all loved it when Val got in on the fun!


a wonder of nature

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It was a dreary day - actually this was two weeks ago - we drove to the canyon because I wanted to take photos of the little spot of green in the midst of the winter ice and snow. It is the prettiest place - right before the Wood Camp turnoff - on the south side of the road. There's a warm spring that flows up from the ground and all around there are mossy green rocks and living thriving plants. It's a paradox - a disconnect in the legendary cold of Logan Canyon. That's what makes it so delightful.

I wish I had taken a photo of Scott without the dog. I never was and never wanted to be a 'dog owner' and having a dog in my photos is just a little too 'doggy' for my taste. Maybe I'm jealous...look at how Scott loves that dog.


* piNk stRipes *




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We have a new under-the-stairs playroom for the little granddaughters - the room was used for storage of 'lots of stuff' until the our recent basement remodel. Now it's a cute little playroom with a window cut through the wall that Marty designed. The girls LOVE it. They play house, bakery, restaurant, and bank through the 'drive-through' window. We wanted to paint stripes on the room, but for us, that project was overwhelming so the room has just been white for six months. Last week we were at Home Depot looking at books in the painting section about how to paint stripes on walls. I made a comment to the Home Depot paint employee that I wished they just had stripes of vinyl that I could apply to the wall. (We have a new line of vinyl decals product called Wall Play at Adornit...so since I had been writing words for the packaging I was 'into' the idea.) The Home Depot girl took us over to a little display of vinyl rub-ons, and I about flipped when I saw the big pink stripes. They were slick to apply - Scott got the job done in an evening - and they are cute as can be. We were planning to paint the stripes a spring green color, but the pink is a fine color and actually perfectly matches the girls' Princess Tea Set.


{ darn recession anyway }

Spent half the day trying to sort and organize papers. Papers papers papers. January is slipping away and my goal was to get all my paper mess cleaned up this month. I have a horrible post-it note habit and I scribble endless notes as thoughts occur - like songs I want to download or blogs I want to check out. I had good discipline and didn't go to the computer every other hour like I would have liked, but stayed at my desk and kept sorting. I filled two garbage cans with papers. Yea. After dinner I allowed myself to check out one blog - I deserved it. It's a cute one called http://littlefrenchgardenhouse.blogspot.com/ I was getting quite a kick out of reading her posts until I came to the one where she mentioned that Country Home magazine is going out. I really liked that magazine and have subscribed to it off and on for years. I'm sad to see it go. I went to the website to confirm the bad news, and in the process I discovered that another magazine that I have looked at often in the grocery store line, Cottage Living, is also closing. This news on top of last week's announcement that SIMPLE Scrapbooks is no more. Takes your breath away. I'd like to write each of them a thank-you note for all the pretty pictures and good articles and inspiration over the years!


MIchelle Obama and her girls shone!

There were rave reviews for Michelle Obama's outfit today - and her daughters' coats too. (The girls' clothes were from J. Crew.) I only found one negative comment (later I found more negatives) in a quick Google survey:
"This particular look is a little too sparkly for day, and wearing a matching coat and dress is a little 1962."— Linda Wells, editor-in-chief, Allure magazine

But, here was one of a thousand positive reviews:

The Isabel Toledo suit that Michelle Obama wore was the color of a ray of sunshine -- an apt metaphor for the brand-new day we have been waiting for. And I love the fact that Isabel lined it in pashmina to keep her warm. It just goes to show that style can go hand-in-hand with intelligence and innovation. Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief, Harper's Bazaar

Stacy London, co-host of TLC's What Not To Wear, praised Michelle O's choice, but with reservations for the rest of America copying her. Here's what Stacy said:

I think she can pull yellow off, but it's hard for American women to emulate.

I think Michelle is separating herself from the pack with this outfit. It is a bold color choice few women can pull off. The wool lace is intricate and much busier than the sea of cashmere coats surrounding her. Instead of the traditional bold primary colors: red or blue, she chose a color specifically for her. The matching coat and dress is reminiscent of Jackie O's classic 60s style. I can't wait to see what she wears to the balls.

I think the matching coat and dress look will be copied. I think the color palette will be a hard sell going forward. Also, the texture of the lace work is very busy for the average American woman.
The comparisons to Jackie O. are, of course, everywhere.
The designer for Michelle Obama's dress is a Cuban/New York designer. Here's a bit about Isabel Toledo:
Ending months of speculation, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed her dress for the swearing-in ceremony -- a sparkly yellow day dress and coat -- and its designer: Isabel Toledo.

The International Herald Tribune reported that the designer did not know until this morning that the first lady would wear her lemongrass-yellow coat and matching dress she specially designed for her:

"We're all up here watching the T.V.," said the designer in a telephone interview from her New York studio.

"It's great. We're so happy."

Toledo, who has been making clothes in New York for 25 years, said the coat and dress were made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk.

"I wanted to pick a very optimistic color, that had sunshine," she said. "I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody."

Toledo, sounding overwhelmed, said, "This is so wonderful."

About 13 people in her studio worked on the outfit over the Christmas holidays. "Chinese ladies, Polish ladies, Spanish ladies - I have a picture of everyone working on her clothes," Toledo said.

She added, "We're all grateful for this opportunity, and we don't even have a PR person!"

The ball gown was designed by a mere kid, 26-year-old Jason Wu, an immigrant from Taipei. What a thrill that must be for him!

I didn't vote for Obama, but I enjoyed watching the festivities today. I get a kick out of everyone weighing in with opinions about fashion. For a time, it was fun to set aside politics and bask in the optimism that so many were feeling. I loved the inaugural poem called "Praise Song for the Day," by Elizabeth Alexander. I'm going to post the full transcript soon. It was incredible.

It's Brett's birthday too

Can't forget that Jan. 19 is Brett's birthday too! Brett is serving a mission in Japan and working with typical Brett enthusiasm and brilliance. Happy Birthday from all of us to Brett!


Happy Birthday dear Bailee

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Today is Bailee's 5th birthday. Hard to believe she's 5. Bailee is the little one in the photo - it's one of my favorite photos ever - it's from 2 1/2 years ago. Brookelyn and Bailee were flower girls at our cousin's wedding. The photo was taken by Bridgette of BNB Photo - with a little unprofessional cropping and editing by me. Bailee is my sweeet little granddaughter that loves playdoh, pretending, playing with Barbies, and coloring. I went to her house today and she was still in her princess costume from the darling princess tea party her mom had given her. Bailee was delighted with every gift she got. Bless her little heart, she just wanted time to stand still so she could play with her presents.


me ~ teaching a scrapbook class!

I had a fun afternoon yesterday teaching a scrapbook class at Paper Creations in Salt Lake City. Paper Creations is a huge, fun scrapbook store in Brickyard Plaza. The store is celebrating their 12th anniversary. They had great sales and classes for their customers. I could not believe how nice the free projects were - and the kits that owner Kathy and her crew put together were amazing - they had cut all the pieces for my double page layout, so all the customers had to do was glue, add photos and journaling. Everyone was having a good time - scrappers are really nice ladies and so happy about their hobby. In my class the age range was from 10 to 70. After the class my sister Merilee met me and we had lunch and caught up with the thousand subjects we needed to discuss. Then I did a little shopping, but I'm happy to report that I am shopped out. I don't care if I go into a department store for a long long time!


-- it's about time for light and bright --


I loved the hour that I spent yesterday going through my stack of magazines - finally got to peruse the Paula Deen Christmas magazine I bought in November. But even better was to put Christmas behind me and go through the January Oprah and January House Beautiful. (You can get House Beautiful right now for $10.00 for a year.) My house is so empty right now - like a clean slate. Oh! I got that from the cover of the House Beautiful magazine. Light bright green is my favorite color and after reading the magazine I checked out some reccommended sites on the internet for additional inspiration. The West Elm website is always eye-popping, and as always, Crate and Barrel. Next time you come to my house you're going to see green!


* collecting joy *

My joy collection reflects how I feel about the now-ended holiday season. We had some wonderful family times that continued into the new year. Through the month of December, I loved looking at my collection of joy words that decorated the kitchen window sill and the perfect quote that is on my favorite Mary Englebreit tin, below! Beautifully stated!


thinking about new year's resolutions!

Can't believe how long it's been since I posted on this blog. Blame it on the snow. All I've done is shovel, shovel, shovel. (That's Becky in the photo.) These pictures are from before Christmas, but the story is the same today.

I'm back to my computer and since it's January I'll give you some great New Year's advice from the website
BrookNoel.com. She is on of a million bloggers who have Weekly Challenges on their blogs or websites. Her challenge for this week is to make what she calls a "CRAZY LIST." Here's what she says:

Make a Crazy List for 2009 by Brook Noel:

One day Alice came to a fork in the road
and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
"Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~ Lewis Carroll

Where do you want to go this year? Perhaps you have already created a detailed plan with specific goals. Perhaps you have set a thousand goals in the past only to be discouraged because they didn't come to fruition. Perhaps you think of resolutions as a novelty and like most people abandon them by February. Perhaps you are comfortable with the status quo and feel uncomfortable when thinking about challenging life. But I strongly doubt that. Why? Well, I think you have a glimmer of internal hope for a better way... for a better day. It only takes a glimmer to nurture a vision.

So what do you want? Many of us have difficulty articulating our "wants." We might be used to expressing our needs, but not give much thought to what we truly want from life. We think about getting from this day to the next, or improving our immediate future, but we lose sight of a bigger vision that rejuvenate and inspire us. Let's do something fun to break out of this mold--let's make a crazy list.

Making a Crazy List Brook continues: "I stumbled on the idea of a crazy list early last year. I had just finished telling someone why I couldn't do something. I can't remember the exact thing to which I was referring but the sentence was, "I don't have enough time to ______________" (and frankly, it was a lousy excuse--it even sounded lousy when I was saying it). However, since many of us are so talented at making excuses, we actually begin to believe them. Later that night, something within me stirred and said, "Wait a second... why can't you do that?" Whenever I find myself engaging in a negative pattern, I challenge it as quickly as I can. Within minutes I was creating a crazy list of all the things I would like to do before I die. The list contained many things - get my pilot's license, climb Mt. Hood, go on a safari, paint a series, run a marathon, ski in Colorado, skydive, learn calligraphy, spend New Year's Eve in Times Square, start a self-esteem group for girls, on and on and on the list went--some of the list items more challenging than others."

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