Links I Loved This Week

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I love to share great articles, stories, and visuals that I find online.  I often share the links through my Facebook account,  but then I realized that many of my readers don’t use Facebook and I also don’t want to bombard my personal feed with links.  It is my hope to share some of these great links I find through the week with you on Saturdays.  Some of the links are funny, some are thought-provoking, but all of them are things I saw this week that I loved.  So without further ado, here are some links that I loved this week.

When You are Broken:  The Now-Traumatic Disorder of Everyday Life :: A Holy Experience

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World :: Twisted Sifter

Impressionist Sings ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ as 19 Divas :: Gawker

On Releasing Perfection ::  Simple Homeschool

Could You Buy a Toy for the Least of These? ::  Chubby Baby Designs (This is a sweet friend of mine from Ohio.  I love her passion for orphans & adoption!)

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

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Nine Things You Might Not Know About Me!

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Not long ago I was chatting with a friend of mine about some of my quirks.  We got to laughing and she said that she loved me even though I had some weird hangups!  I jokingly said “My quirks might make a good blog post!” to which she responded “Absolutely!  That would make for some funny reading!”

So tonight, on the way home from our weekly frozen yogurt date, I mentioned to Chris that I might share some of my quirks or things that freak me out.  He immediately started naming things that I could share.  Wow!  I truly do have issues!

So here we go!

1)  I have FREAKISH hearing!

I have had the most remarkable hearing for as long as I can remember.  I really struggle concentrating when I’m in a large group setting because I can hear so many different conversations going on at once.  Chris totally laughs at me because I can give him details about people (usually the kind that people don’t want you to know) after being together at some type of gathering.  My freakish hearing leads to my next item.

2)  I can’t stand loud eating or gum smacking!

Going to the movies has always been a complete stressor for me!  Hearing all those people chow down on their popcorn & nachos is seriously a nightmare.  We used to have to get to the movies at least 30 minutes early to ensure that I could get a seat in the very back of the theatre.  I could still hear people eating in front of me, but it wasn’t as bad as someone sitting directly behind me.

Last year we got to a movie late and the gentleman sitting behind me had to have been the LOUDEST eater I had ever encountered!  Chris was a doll & went out to the lobby to ask if they happened to have any earplugs.  They didn’t, but he came back with one of those headsets that plays the audio to the movie.  Amazingly, went I put the headset on, I couldn’t hear anything around me!  It. Was. AWESOME!  It has been a total lifechanger for me!

About the gum…that is pretty self-explanatory.  I especially can’t stand when someone pops and cracks their gum.  The worst is when they do it in church! Seriously people, don’t pop your gum in church!  I don’t think that’s a lot to ask!

3)  Clowns freak me out!

Not really sure when it started, but I remember having really bad dreams about clowns when I was a kid.  Anything clown related scares me!  Clown dolls, pictures, art, and especially actual clowns.  I have come face to face with people dressed as clowns and I literally freeze. I get heart palpitations & become sweaty.

I’ve never taken my kids to the circus.  I don’t feel guilty about it at all!  Chris took them once & said they weren’t all that thrilled anyway.

When I was pregnant with Hailey, I had an appointment with my OB on Halloween. I remember Chris coming around the corner & saying “Honey, stay where you are!” followed by “Excuse me Ma’am, can I ask you to step into that room while my wife comes down the hall?”  She laughed and made a joke and he quickly told her “I’m totally not kidding!  My wife is deathly afraid of clowns!”  She was nice enough to comply and I realized at that exact moment that Chris would do ANYTHING for me, even if it made me or him look like a total freak!  He’s my hero!

4)  I have been forbidden to read any novel written by Jodi Picoult!

In 2007 I read My Sister’s Keeper.  I was literally weeping as I read it.  In the days that followed, I was so depressed I almost couldn’t function.  This book just absolutely rocked me!  I was waking up in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with each of my girls.  I would hold them & rock them as tears fell onto their sleeping faces.

A couple of weeks later my sister finally said “What is wrong with you?  You have been in this major funk for a couple of weeks!”  As I told her about the book I started sobbing!  She said “Um, stop reading those kinds of books!”  Chris totally agreed, gathered all the rest of the Jodi Picoult books off my bookshelf & donated them to Goodwill the following day.

5)  I only like to eat scrambled eggs if Chris or my mom has made them!

Not exactly sure what it is about their eggs that make them so much better than anyone else’s, but I’m pretty sure that the fact that my mom uses an insane amout of butter is what draws me to her eggs & Chris uses lots of cheese.  When others offer to make me scrambled eggs, I politely decline or request them to be made a different way. Just a personal choice.  Some people in my family call me an “egg snob” and I can totally handle it!

6)  I really dislike coconut!

Love the smell, just really dislike the taste and especially the texture.  Seriously, it’s like eating grass.  No thanks!

My close friends and family know my aversion to coconut. A couple of years ago we were having a celebration at church and I went to grab a cookie that I thought looked like a butterscotch cookie and my friend, Ruthie, had this weird look on her face and she just blurted out “COCONUT! COCONUT!”  I immediately put the cookie down & then busted out laughing.  She started laughing and said “I couldn’t get the right words out, but I wanted to warn you.  All I could think to do was to start yelling ‘Coconut’!  I hugged her & thanked her for saving me from a total coconut disaster!  That’s true friendship!

7)  I truly believe that Miracle Whip is evil!

Ok, so maybe not evil, but truly disgusting!  I grew up in a household that only used Miracle Whip.  It wasn’t until I was in high school that one of my friends introduced me to actual mayo.  Oh my word!  I had no idea what I was missing out on.

My parents still razz me when they come to visit that I only keep mayo in our fridge. I always like to tease my dad when he tells me how good the sandwiches are that I make him while he’s here.  I usually say “You know dad, the reason that sandwich is so good is that I used mayo & not Miracle Whip.  Miracle Whip ruins everything!”

8)  I have to fall asleep with the TV on!

I know, I know!  I’ve read the studies that say it is so much better to not do that. Believe me, I don’t need you to send me any newspaper clippings or foward me any articles because my mom already does that!  I know it isn’t ideal, but it is what helps me to fall asleep.  It totally helps me to decompress.  I set the sleeper and I’m totally happy!

9) I am fascinated by both the Royals and the Amish!

I know, totally weird combination!  Many years ago my folks took me on a trip to Lancaster, PA to visit Amish country.  I love their minimalist lifestyle, their total devotion to hard work, & their cute buggies!  I love to watch movies & read books about them.

I’ve always enjoyed reading about the royal family.  It started young.  Yes, I know that they are just regular people, but the concept of royalty has always intrigued me.  And yes, I’ve been super happy the past few days with all the royal baby stuff.

Well there you have it!  Hopefully this post has given you a deeper glimpse into what makes me tick and what ticks me off! I’d love to know that I am not alone, so please share any of your silly quirks or odd things that might bring you joy in the comments below!

Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life 2013: Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  I have two weeks to share with you today.  I really enjoyed my time in my craft space this week printing out my pictures & putting my pages together.  I used a mix of the Honey, Blush, Seafoam, & Jade editions.  Yes, I know, I have an issue.  If you have any specific questions on my layouts, please leave them in the comments.  Also, at the end of this post, I’m sharing how I store all my Project Life editions together.

Week 24

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This was the week we attended the 60’s themed dance for our local special needs program.  We had such a great time.  You can read more about the dance & see the rest of our pictures HERE.  I also continue to love using tidbits from Finding Nana’s shop on my pages.

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Week 26

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Week 26 covers the first part of trip to New Mexico to see my folks.  We took 2 of my sister’s kids with us so we had a car full.

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Many of you might remember this post that I did where I shared how I organize my Project Life cards.  That box was a great way to organize & I still utililize it for other tidbits.  However, with the introduction of so many great kits & my overwhelming desire to own multiple kits, I needed a bigger box to keep all my core kits together.  I already had the cherry & turqouise kits and last year I purchased & primarily used the Clementine kit.  This year I bought the Seafoam edition, the Jade edition through HSN & then recently picked up the Honey and Blush editions at Hobby Lobby.  I know, overkill!  HOWEVER….I love having so many options.

Last month I picked up a couple of bamboo silverware drawer organizers from Costco.  When I bought them I didn’t even realize that they slid out to provide an even bigger box.  I used one in my actual silverware drawer & I love it.  This past weekend I realized that I was struggling with sifting through the individual kit boxes while trying to work on my pages.  I decided to put all the kits together & organize them in my new tray.

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With the help of my Brother P-touch labeler that I have had for 12 years, I was able to organize & label all the individual kits.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

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Putting all the kits right here at my fingertips has made me realize how much many of the kits mix & match really well!  I’m currently working on a visual way to see what cards are in each kit.  I will share that as soon as I’m done.  I tend to share on Instagram first, so feel free to follow me on Instagram HERE.  You can also follow me on Pinterest HERE.

Thanks for stopping by, I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Project Life 2013: Weeks 1 & 2

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  I’m sharing weeks 1 & 2 today as I haven’t shared it yet and I’m on vacation.  The first two weeks of the year were pretty rough for our family.  The first week the girls had bronchitis and sinus infections and the second week we did.

I decided to include both weeks in one layout.  The one thing I love about project life is that it was designed to make memory recording simpler.  No rules!  Last year I found myself getting really stressed out by what I thought I “had” to do.  After we were sick, I realized that I could easily combine those 2 weeks and just call it done. I’m really happy with the way they turned out.  Giving myself permission not to follow the “norm” was really freeing!

My layouts were really simple and it is mainly just pictures and journaling.  I used the Seafoam Edition and a couple other miscellaneous items.

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There you have it!  Simple and recorded.  Those two weeks were exhausting and full of medicine, tissues, sleeping, lots of tv watching, and meals from friends.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be sharing some of the fun games we have been playing while we’ve been on vacation.  I hope you are enjoying your summer (or your winter…depending on where you live).

I’m linking up with The Mom Creative!  Head over there and see all the other projcect life layouts this week.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Project Life 2013: Week 25

It is so nice to be back sharing my Project Life pages with all of you!  I took quite a long break from blogging and Project Life.  The release of the new editions through Hobby Lobby really got me excited again to work on my weekly pages.  I’m not sure yet how I will be sharing my pages, but decided this week to just jump in with the current week.  It was quite the week with a forrest fire that started 5 miles from our house, Hailey’s interview for private school, and a trip to Bearizona and Flagstaff.

I used the Honey edition this week along with multiple journaling cards and accents from Finding Nana!  My love for all of Leena’s goodies did not diminish one bit while I was on hiatus.

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Chris and I started taking guitar lessons together this week.  This has been something we have talked about doing since we first got married in 1997.  Better late than never!  I also put a picture of the fire from our back deck.  It was so eery to see all that smoke and the flames that close to our house.

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Last Thursday we made arrangements to go see my friend, Heather in Flagstaff on her way through town.  We decided to stop at a drive-thru wildlife park, Bearizona, on our way up.  You can read all about our visit HERE.

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Like I mentioned above, all the little accent pieces (smile, the memo circle, the remember tag, and 3 of the journal cards) came from Finding Nana’s shop.  I have all 3 sets of labels (Take Note, Daily Memory, and On the Road Labels).

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I took quite a few pictures at Bearizona, so I included a flip-up protector in order to add the additional pictures.  This was definitely a picture heavy week with all we had going on and I had already scaled back on the dozens of pictures I took.

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Well there you have it!  It felt so great to be back in my craft space, printing out pictures, journaling about our week, and telling our story!

Thanks for stopping by!  If you want to see some more project life pages, head over to The Mom Creative and check out all the other project lifers!

If you have any questions about project life or the products I used, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them!

You can see my previous project life posts here.

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Sharing Our Story In 5 Photos & A Friday Morning Funny!

I am participating in a photography link-up today over at Learn With Jenny.  The Challenge is to share 5 photos that help tell our story.  What might this have to do with autism, you ask?  Well, to be honest, I love that by sharing these photos I can show you that while some days are hard, emotional, and crazy busy with doctor’s appointments and therapy, we still lead a rather extraordinary life filled with joy, humor, and beauty.

The challenge is to encourage us to share our stories. Plain and simple!

So here are my pictures:

MORNING ROUTINE

Every morning after Skylar finishes showering, getting dressed, and eating, she takes her medicine.  It’s a lot of pills, but she NEVER complains.  The mixture of seizure medication and various supplements have helped to keep her healthy and seizure-free.  I love that she groups them in a specific order to take.

HAPPY PLACE

Even though it is totally messy right now, my craft room is totally my happy place.  I love to get my hands messy and be creative in this area.  I especially love to create in this space with my friends.  It doesn’t get any happier than that folks!

CONTENTS OF SOMETHING YOU CARRY WITH YOU

I must say that I was pretty embarassed to snap a picture of the inside of my bag.  I am definitely someone who likes to carry a larger purse.  My mother-in-law made me this lovely bag and it holds a lot, as you can clearly see!  A few of those items include my instax mini7s polaroid camera, my wallet (that is bursting at the seams), a word search for Skylar, my Kindle, and snacks for the kids.

SOMEONE WHO MAKES YOU SMILE

My husband Chris is constantly making me smile!  This picture is from our lunch date yesterday.  We were laughing because we felt so far away from each other and felt like we needed to yell across the table.  Chris got to the restaurant before me and was excited to snag the beautiful window seat with a view of downtown.  He didn’t realize that we would be sitting so far apart.  We agreed that although this table had a great view, it was not conducive to hand holding!  I love this man with every fiber of my being!

SOMETHING YOU DRIVE BY EVERY DAY THAT YOU HAVE NEVER STOPPED TO PHOTOGRAPH

I’m actually cheating on this one and including 2 photos.  We have lived here in Prescott for just over a year and every day we pass two things that are really neat. First is this beautiful horse.  He lives on a property that we pass to get out of our neighborhood.  The girls usually yell  “there’s our horse!” every time we pass it. They were thrilled to actually get out of the car and pet him.  Why haven’t we stopped before?

The second photo is a house just down the street that has these GIANT metal sculptures.  They must have at least 30 of them.  They are really big and obviously they have lots of property.  At one point we thought they were all dinosaurs, but they actually have other animals and even some mythical creatures.  I have no idea how they started this collection, but I’d love to stop and ask.  When giving directions to our house, we always say “You will turn into our neighborhood just shortly after passing the house with the dinosaurs.”

That is it for our story in pictures.  I did want to share a funny little conversation I had with Skylar this week.  We were driving home after getting her blood drawn and she mentioned my upcoming birthday.

Skylar:  Are you excited for your birthday next week?

Me:  Sure.  I can’t believe I’m going to be 36!

Skylar:  I know!  I am getting so tall and you are getting SO old!

Me:  What?  I’m not SO old!

Skylar:  Of course you are mom!

Well, ok then!!  You gotta love Skylar’s total lack of filter.  I always say “She’s just keepin’ it real!”

If you link up with Jenny’s photograpy challenge, please let me know in the comments below so that I can come see your story in photos.

I hope you all have a great day today!  I know that I am going to enjoy time with my hubby as he is off work. YAY!

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life: Week 10

It’s that time again! I had fun working on my project life pages this week with my sister who came up for the weekend.  It was fun to have a partner in crime.  I’m going to hop right to my pages this week as we are currently spending some time at the “happiest place on earth”!  So excited to have a few days away thanks to a fabulous military special on 3-day park hopper passes & my folks who gave us a ton of Hilton points!

Below is a view of my pages with an envelope insert that I included this week. Skylar had a really tough day on Thursday and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about it privately.

Here is a view without the envelope insert.

I kept it pretty simple this week. We left on Sunday for California so I knew that I needed to get it done & photographed.  Here is the left page.

My sister came up to Prescott on Saturday afternoon & we took all the kids up to feed the ducks. I took my good Canon dslr camera & just snapped away.  When I uploaded the pictures and saw this one of Skylar & Sam, I knew that I wanted to do another enlarged photo like the one I did here. I added a simple digital element by Ali Edwards. Here is a closer look.

Here is the right side of the layout.

Here is a close-up view of the flip-up protector.

Hailey worked on a project about David Crockett for several months and this past week everything was due & she performed her speech for the Living History Museum.  It was really neat & I was super proud of her.

Well there you have it!  As always I appreciate any comments & I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.  Gotta run as the kids are practically pulling me out the hotel room door to get back to the park!

I’m linking up with The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama.  Head over and see all the wonderful layouts people are creating!

You can see my previous project life posts here.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Right Now (2/16/2012)

Right now…I’m enjoying a few moments of peace & quiet after getting the girls off to school.  The morning is always such a whirlwind.

Right now…I’m looking forward to having lunch with a sweet lady that I met while volunteering at Hailey’s school library.  Love that I am making new friends!

Right now…I’m thinking that a cup of tea is in order.  Chris and I have been in love with this awesome tea from Teavana since tasting it on our anniversary several years ago.

Right now…I’m thinking of Skylar and how today is the first day with her new teacher.  Excited for her and the kiddos in her class that they have a new, permanent teacher.

Right now…I’m listening to Adele and thinking that she was seriously heartbroken when she wrote this album. (Dang girl!)

Right now…I’m super thankful for the people that I have met because of this blog. The world has been made so much smaller thanks to the internet.  I love that I have new friends all over the world!

Right now…I’m thinking that I need to reorganize my pantry.  It looks like the Tasmanian Devil came through it.

Right now…I’m looking forward to spending time with these people this weekend! Love that we are so close that we can do that!

Right now…I’m thinking I’d better get off this computer & get to movin’!

What are you up to right now?  Whatever it is…Make it great!

JuJu