Scraps of Life

Life As a Scrapbooking Newlywed

Will You Be My Valentine?

Our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple was absolutely wonderful. Matt had reservations for a fancy restaurant downtown called Boi Na Braza. A great friend had given us a gift card for our birthdays and we decided to use it for a special occasion. We were very pleased with our first experience at this Brazilian steak house. It’s definitely not something you could do often but here’s one word of advice – go hungry!

Before we went there we actually went back up the Carew Tower and had our picture taken next to where he proposed to me back in September 2010. We try to go up there every year and hope to keep that tradition up forever.

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Back to the restaurant! It wasn’t busy when we first got there but it didn’t take long for them to fill up with patrons, not a shocker for Valentines day. Since it was our first time there, the waiter had to explain how things work there and let me tell you, he wasn’t kidding about flipping the red/green circle over when you’re done with meat for the moment. We flipped ours over to green and people came out of the woodwork to bring us meat! It wasn’t until three or four later that we were able to flip over to red and pace ourselves!

For your sides, they have a salad bar complete with salad (duh), cheeses, fruit, soups, mashed potatoes and the like. Something new that neither of us had ever had but really enjoyed was tabule and I’ve decided I need to find out all the ingredients and make it sometime. It was delicious and has parsley in it which everyone always made fun of me for eating! It is a food, not just decoration!

Embarrassing moment alert – When we both got up to go to the salad bar, we were walking back to our seats together and proceeded to sit down and notice that there was only one glass of champagne when we were both supposed to get one. Not long after that, some other people came over and….you guessed it…we were in their seats. We were so embarrassed and felt terrible. Thankfully, the people were really cool about it and I had only used the knife on the table. In our defense, there are two little alcoves that look exactly the same. We just went to the wrong one. Oh my.

After we finished our dinner, complete with dessert, Matt surprised me by taking me on a carriage ride around downtown. I absolutely love carriage rides and I was so thrilled! Our horses name was Cesar and the driver was super sweet. It was a beautiful night for it and we even had a few people shout cute things at us.

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As a closing note, our Valentine’s Day was wonderful but one of the most touching parts of the day was something a great friend of mine posted on Facebook. I’m summarizing, but what I took from it was that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about loving a partner. It’s about love wherever you have it. With your family, your friends, your pets, etc. Celebrate it! What was extra special is she tagged me in the post.

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Ode to a Playground – Ichthus

There’s only going to be a little pretending for this daily prompt for this year, one of my all-time favorite places on this planet, close it’s “doors”. They’re selling their equipment and the land where the Ichthus Music Festival has been for 42 years due to far too much debt. The only thing missing from the prompt is it being destroyed but who knows what’s going to happen to those beautiful fields now.

The saddest part is, we were going to back this year, really. We hadn’t been in maybe 5 years but we were all set to go back this year until they broke the news they’d be shutting it down. They even had some bands lined up!

So here’s to you, Ichthus. You have moved me to my core on more than one occasion and I will never forget the memories and the closeness to God I’ve felt there over the years. The giant field covered in people taking communion at once. The “donut hole” that protected us from the worst part of a storm that even made the news. Having it start to rain once NeedtoBreathe played their song “Washed By The Water” and stop raining when they stopped playing. The friendships. You will never be forgotten. You will live on in the hearts of those who experienced you.

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Matt and Jess Go To DisneyWorld!

And seven months later, Jess finishes the scrapbook and shares her favorite pages from it with the world. The pictures themselves are not perfect because I took them with my camera while they were still in the book. Some are also slightly cut off.

If you like anything, please feel free to pin it, bookmark this page, etc. If you use anything for inspiration, I would love to see what you came up with in a comment, linked blog post, etc. Also, if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Title Page including one of the pins they gave us to wear around the parks.

Title Page including one of the pins they gave us to wear around the parks.

Tree of Life and "Honeymoon Safari"

Tree of Life and “Honeymoon Safari”

Marlins vs. Red Sox game with Matt's aunt and uncle.

Marlins vs. Red Sox game with Matt’s aunt and uncle. The new ballpark even has a bobblehead museum complete with all of the other teams in MLB including our beloved Marty and Joe.

 

Fun in Downtown Disney, including our tickets to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Fun in Downtown Disney, including our tickets to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Hollywood Studios, my second favorite park.

Hollywood Studios, my second favorite park.

 

Rocking out waiting in line for the Rock 'n' Roller coaster Aerosmith ride!

Rocking out waiting in line for the Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster Aerosmith ride!

 

Our last name is blacked out on the certificate, but that is our "Official DisneyWorld Marriage License". The same gentleman who wrote that out for us let us call Mickey and Minnie on the phone for a congratulations on the wedding and gave us a free dessert!

Our last name is blacked out on the certificate, but that is our “Official DisneyWorld Marriage License”. The same gentleman who wrote that out for us let us call Mickey and Minnie on the phone for a congratulations on the wedding and gave us a free dessert!

 

I really like this one. It has a lot going on but the page doesn't seem overwhelmed to me.

I really like this one. It has a lot going on but the page doesn’t seem overwhelmed to me.

 

With Belle, my favorite, and Aurora. Also trying to pull the sword from the stone.

With Belle, my favorite, and Aurora. Also trying to pull the sword from the stone.

This one I was inspired by a scrapbook page I found on Pinterest. The original came from http://www.scrapbook.com/gallery/image/layout/2719941.html.

This one I was inspired by a scrapbook page I found on Pinterest. The original came from this website.

This is quite possibly my favorite page of the entire album. I can't believe I didn't think of something so obvious for DisneyWorld, but I'm glad I also came across an inspiration for this page on Pinterest as well. The original can be found here.

This is quite possibly my favorite page of the entire album. I can’t believe I didn’t think of something so obvious for DisneyWorld, but I’m glad I also came across an inspiration for this page on Pinterest as well. The original can be found here.

This page is about the most annoying ride/song in Disney. It's a small world after all! You may not be able to read it in the picture, but the lyrics to the song are written in the circles on the page.

This page is about the most annoying ride/song in Disney. It’s a small world after all! You may not be able to read it in the picture, but the lyrics to the song are written in the circles on the page.

 

I'm pretty fond of the way I made the "i" in "rides" for this page. I had taken a picture of which mission we went on for Mission Space and it turns out the ticket plus a big circle works out pretty good for an "i"!

I’m pretty fond of the way I made the “i” in “rides” for this page. I had taken a picture of which mission we went on for Mission Space and it turns out the ticket plus a big circle works out pretty good for an “i”!

 

I was also inspired by Pinterest on this page. The original can be found here.

I was also inspired by Pinterest on this page. The original can be found here.

This is the adjacent page to the previous picture and I kind of just turned it on it's side. Then, about six pages before the end of the book, I remembered I had special Disney punches.

This is the adjacent page to the previous picture and I kind of just turned it on it’s side. Then, about six pages before the end of the book, I remembered I had special Disney punches.

Waiting outside the Muppets 3D Theatre and having a drink through a special straw!

Waiting outside the Muppets 3D Theatre and having a drink through a special straw!

There you have it, the honeymoon scrapbook in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed and were maybe even inspired for your own scrapping projects.

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New Year Shenanigans

It’s my first post about what’s actually going on in our life for 2013. I am quite enjoying the prompts though.

Since this is “Scraps of Life”, it seems only appropriate to mention I’m almost finished with the honeymoon scrapbook. After I finish I’ll pick my favorite pages and make a post about them. It’s only been 7 months today since the wedding, it’s all good.

Anywho, we rang in the new year in our usual fashion of getting all dressed up and going to O’Charley’s then back to my aunt and uncle’s house for board games and movies. It wound up being only Matt and I with my brother and cousin playing Pictionary until around 11:30 when everyone else showed up from their pub crawl. Good times, good times.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

On New Years Day we met Matt’s parents at the Levee for lunch and the two of us went to see two movies, Les Mis and This is 40. I absolutely loved Les Mis and found the voices to mostly be absolutely wonderful. I won’t get too crazy in depth but the only one I wasn’t 100% loving was Amanda Seyfried. Anna Hathaway and Hugh Jackman’s performances made me cry. So very well done. This Is 40 was okay. I enjoyed it but it just seemed to be lacking something and I wished they would have turned over a new leaf way earlier in the movie.

We’ve been to two NKU basketball games and a Cyclones hockey game already this year. Norse women won and the men lost even though they really should have won. Cyclones lost too. Our games attended 2013 record needs to improve!

I have set my book goal for 50 books read in 2013 (again). Let’s hope I can get more than 32 books this year!

2013 is looking goooooood!

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Call Me Ishmael (Or not, that’s cool too)

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”

Today’s daily prompt was a little hard to narrow down. I love a lot of books so choosing my favorite to pull the first sentence from was harder than I thought it would be. I started out with To Kill a Mockingbird but since we don’t even own that book (ironic, I know) I had to Google for the opening line which brought me to a site with some of the best book openings. It led me to another favorite, one that I actually own. The fancy, gold leafed complete and unabridged version with all five books from the series in it, as a matter of fact. The More Than Complete Hitchhikers Guide by Douglas Adams, of which, the sentence above is pulled from the first book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Full of hilarity and truth

Pulling that book off the shelf and holding it in my hands again makes me want to reread it all which I know I’ll get to eventually. It also pulls me back to when I first took it off the shelf at my parent’s house. We still had a swing set in the backyard, given to us by a neighbor when they moved, and it was where I did a lot of my reading.

Hitchhiker’s Guide is one of the funniest and truthful books ever written. It’s a fact of life. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you get up right now and go to the library or bookstore. Even better yet, if you have a Nook, Kindle or other E-Reader, download it and start reading it in the comfort of your pajamas.

Another thing, if you’ve seen the movie, erase it’s horrible attempt at the book from your memory. Seriously. In comparison, it’s absolutely terrible.

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Kicking It (Old School?)

So I remembered to not only LOOK at the daily prompt on the correct day but I actually have something to say about it and I’m doing it. I’ll consider that to be a decent accomplishment on this blistery Thursday in January.

Daily Prompt wants to know what the eleventh item on my bucket list is and while I don’t have a bucket list, per se, I do have a Day Zero Project list I’m going to use instead. It’s pretty much a bucket list with a more definite deadline, 101 days, of which I only have 572 days left. I only have 21% complete and I’m realistically knowing that most of it will not be finished in those 572 days.

Anyway, the eleventh item on that list as you can see is to visit three new countries. I realize that I have more than a year to accomplish this but I wish I had been more realistic when making this list. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll even get to one new country. You see, I’ve already been to Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Spain and Germany plus my husband doesn’t have much interest in going to Mexico. Mexico would be easy because it’s so close and theoretically cheaper to travel to but then we come to another issue. We already have our vacation planned for this year as we’re going back to Disneyworld, this time with some companions. After that we plan on taking a few cheap weekend trips and saving like crazy for a house.

I know, bucket lists and even Day Zero Project lists are not about excuses. They’re not.

If we transfer this goal of visiting three new countries to my bucket list instead of something that needs to be completed by July 30, 2014, I have very high hopes that it will happen. I want to go to a heck of a lot more countries than 8 before I  kick the bucket! If I had to pick only three new travel destinations, it would be Italy, England and Brazil (when they have the World Cup sometime).

So here’s to hoping I accomplish more than I expect on my Day Zero list and that I definitely get to more than three new countries before the end.

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2012 – A Year in Review

The year that I thought would never get here is somehow over already. Crazy how time works like that. Tormenting us by dragging at some points and throwing us for a loop by moving too quickly at other times.

January CollageJanuary

  • First wedding of the year, after about six in 2011.
  • Beauty and the Beast in 3D
  • Matt and I joined a gym, that we later left because they’re a bunch of jerks.
  • Grandma was in the hospital but now she’s stronger than ever!

Picture Block

  • New Years Eve tradition
  • Go Norse!
  • Dancing at the wedding reception
  • Matt’s journalism awards banquet – He won two awards!

February

  • Chick-fil-a Downtown closes.
  • I discovered Glee and my intense love for it thanks to Netflix.February Collage
  • Met an internet friend in real life!
  • Fell in love with a movie in less than 5 minutes. – The Muppets

Picture Block

  • Cyclones hockey game with Matt’s dad and mutual friend
  • Dancing robot man at the Levee

March CollageMarch

  • The Hunger Games movie comes out – all three books are read.
  • Two fundraisers for Autism Speaks.

Picture Block

  • Matt buys me flowers just because; my favorite even!
  • Myself and a coworker cleaning debris from a field. A tornado came through the area destroying a lot of homes and several coworkers used their community service day to help.
  • Me with the violinist from Skillet, Johnathan Chu at Winter Jam!

April

April Collage

  • Won tickets 6 rows behind the dugout for Reds Opening Day

from work.

  • First ever manicure and pedicure. Loved it.
  • Matt moves into what will become our apartment.

Picture Block

  • Cleaning out my room and walking down memory lane. For whatever reason, I still had the name badges from my first two jobs. They closed in 2002 and 2004 respectfully. WHY?
  • At one of my wedding showers with the beautiful and delicious cupcakes a bridesmaid baked for me.
  • Brother, Matt and I at the aforementioned Reds game!

May CollageMay

  • The last wedding before our own is finally here. We’re next!
  • Benefit for missionary family going to Peru in 2013 to live there.
  • Church Wedding shower!
  • Bachelorette and Bachelor parties

Picture Block

  • Drive in movie with my cousin and her boyfriend.
  • My bachelorette party at the Reds!
  • My beautiful grandmother with her survivor sash at Relay for Life.
  • Us at our couple’s shower for the “group”.

June (aka Best Month of 2012)

June Collage

  • We got married and went to Disneyworld on our honeymoon!
  • Joined the Disney fan club.
  • Watched Hoosiers in a high school gym for the anniversary of the movie WITH the people the movie was based off of.

Picture Block

  • Wedding and honeymoon pictures are obvious. More wedding pictures (and stories) can be found here.
  • Baxter got reintroduced to catnip. This is him mellowing out in his little house we got him.
  • Picture of us and Bobby Plump – Hoosiers event.

July Collage

July

  • Finished reading the Harry Potter books.
  • Drank a bottle of our wedding champagne on our one month anniversary.
  • Niece’s first birthday party.

Picture Block

  • Stricker’s Grove for the 4th of July
  • World Choir Games held in Cincinnati – Free concerts right outside my office
  • Vacation Bible School volunteer in the craft room – Matt was a guide.
  • Reds win 10 games straight – Marty Brennaman shaves his head takes his Reds shirt off to reveal an “I’m Still Me” shirt – raising awareness for those who lose their hair in cancer treatments. (And making me cry every time I see the picture)

AugustAugust Collage

  • Took our niece to her first Reds game.
  • I tried, and fell in love with, baking cookies.
  • Surprise birthday party for my cousin – SUCCESS!
  • Discovered Easton Town Center in Columbus, OH.

Picture Block

  • Getting a free coke from Matt’s new favorite store, Homage.
  • The rest are from our trip to the Ohio History Museum complete with 19th century Ohio Town outside.
  • Matt wrote that on a desk chalkboard in the adorable schoolhouse.

September CollageSeptember

  • Church picnic – Second place in group cornhole contest!
  • Tried out Crave to celebrate our 2 year engagement anniversary, first as husband and wife.
  • Both of our birthdays! I turned 26 and Matt turned 27.

Picture Block

  • Columbus Crew game with friends and celebrating their victory at Waffle House.
  • Coney Island on the paddleboats.
  • American Idol concert where Matt got a picture with Phillip Phillips.
  • Reds Clinch and we were THERE!
  • Engagement anniversary!

OctoberOctober Collage

Picture Block

November CollageNovember

  • A Christmas tradition starts in my hometown, in the abandoned building where my first job used to be. 
  • NKU Women’s basketball team beats an undefeated team at the buzzer.
  • Wrote our first letter to our sponsored child through Compassion International.
  • Panera Bread opens up close to my office!

Picture Block

  • Christmas craft fair at church in my elf outfit with mom!
  • Baxter hanging out in the branches of our Christmas tree.
  • Halloween party as Batman and Robin!

DecemberDecember Collage

  • Holiday Pops featuring Amy Grant with all of our immediate family!
  • We drank the other bottle of leftover champagne on our six month anniversary.
  • Ichthus calls it quits and it is a sad, sad day.
  • We all survived the end of the world…again!

Picture Block

  • Sledding with my cousins after our family Christmas party.
  • Redsfest – Us with Marty Brennaman and Chris Welsh as well as me and Brandon Phillips in the best Redsfest picture ever.
  • Us at the new Christmas tradition in town. I am so thrilled it’s going to be an annual thing!

So there you have it! I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures as well because pictures are worth 1,000 words and all. 🙂

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Christmas as a Married Couple: Take 1

Matt and I have our first Christmas living together and being married down and I must say it was very pleasant and not as rushed as I had originally thought it would be. We were able to wake up at a decent hour and open our gifts to each other before worrying about rushing to get ready and out the door with our gifts for others. I technically already had my Christmas present from him as he bought it for me in Gatlinburg but I bought him a PS Vita with the game he had been wanting for a long time. He was very excited!

This is my wonderful Christmas present. Beauty and the Beast canvas print by Thomas Kinkade!

Not surprisingly, the best part of the day with his family was watching our niece open her presents, play with them and interact with everyone. The first thing she opened was this adorable little Mickey’s Clubhouse couch from Grandma and Grandpa that she kept opening and closing from a couch to a bed and vice versa. She even stayed on it to open a few of her gifts. We put the gift we got her, the Fischer Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo together for her (and her parents of course) and she loved playing with it. It was very simple to put together and only took Matt and I maybe 15 minutes once we had all the right tools. You really only need a phillips head screwdriver and three AA batteries. It comes with everything else you need but I digress. I see animal expansions for that in her future. She got a few books and some other toys, all of which was so much fun to watch her open.

All of the adults were treated well by Santa as well. I got a super warm and adorable scarf/hat set, a sweater, an adorably decorated candle, and the Broadway soundtrack to Les Mis just to name a few. It was great to spend time with Matt’s family.

We left his parents and headed back to my parents, stopping to feed Baxter and pick up round two of gifts to give out before making our final Christmas stop. Dinner at my parents was delicious and my plate was made up mostly of green bean casserole because it’s amazing and I could eat my weight in it. 🙂

Gifts there are always fun because it’s so many people in one small room all opening them and grandma makes fun noises of excitement every time another gift is handed to her. Dad loved the beer glass I got him from ThinkGeek and made the same face I imagine he’d make when I stumbled across it and knew he had to have it.

Matt and I got this really awesome Reds mirror/poster from my aunt and uncle. It even came with a catcher’s mask – a perfect addition to our baseball themed living room. We also got some movies (including the best version of A Christmas Carol ever – The Muppet Christmas Carol), clothes, books and lots of gift cards. We’re already planning a day at the movies to use all of the AMC gift cards we received. New Years Day – Les Mis and This is 40! Now THAT is a way to ring in the new year if you ask me.

The best part of the evening there however, was playing Would You Rather?. Oh the answers and trains of thought that came from some of those crazy, gross, absurd questions. If you’ve never played that game, I highly recommend it. We played with cards but I just found this online if you’re interested.

I’m so glad to have the family and friends that we have in our lives and we are extremely blessed. More blessings are coming on Saturday when my mom’s extended family is celebrating Christmas together as one big happy bunch. My aunt with cancer is expected to come and it would be the best gift ever if you ask me. I won’t need anything else that day if she’s well enough to come out and spend time with our enormous and loving family.

I hope anyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas and will have a blessed New Year. Stay safe in all of your celebrating. 🙂

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Faith – Restored

Faith – Restored (26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity from Buzzfeed)

I think after today, we all needed these reminders. Keep your kleenex handy, everyone.

Hold your loved ones tight, pray for the families affected by the tragedy and pray for your own ability to look past hatred and strive for peace. Reach out to people and love on them, no matter what your first impression of them is. Maybe you’ll be the one friend they so desperately need in this life.

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Insurgent – Now We Wait

Listen, Veronica Roth, I would really appreciate it if you got the third installment of the Divergent series written well and published prior to Fall 2013. 😉 Insurgent was just wonderfully written, shocked me and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The seat that I am now hanging off of and I’m not sure if I can hang on that long!

Unlike last time, there’s going to be a few spoilers ahead so yup, don’t read ahead if you plan on reading the book.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

So my biggest anger moment with this book came from Caleb. I could not believe it when Tris found out that he was helping the enemy perform tests on her with the well-known fact that she planned on killing her. Then he wouldn’t even fill his own sister in the information he knew to attempt to make her understand. I didn’t get enough information in the end regarding Caleb to know if he should be forgiven or not yet. Since Tobias had to force him to help them out, I’m leaning way more towards not forgiving but I really want to. He’s the only blood family Tris has left and I feel like that needs to be reconciled somehow.

All of that anger however, only comes from caring about the characters and is not a reflection on how I feel about the book. I think it’s pretty obvious from the beginning of my post that I love these books and cannot wait for the next one.

Anywho, I am really glad that the Tobias and Tris relationship has been reconciled again. I don’t know if I could have handled waiting a year for that on top of everything else.

Little did I know that the last few pages would throw me for the biggest loop of them all. Edith Prior? Is that Tris’s grandma? If so, who’s mom? Did she really think the factions wouldn’t backfire and cause war? How long did she and the others who started the factions think it would take to produce a decent amount of Divergents?

So many more questions!!

I will be stalking Veronica’s blog now. I really like the countdowns for the first two books and will be annoying everyone with one for the third once it’s created.  You’ve been warned.

Have you read Insurgent? What are your thoughts?

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