Scraps of Life

Life As a Scrapbooking Newlywed

Blank Scrapbook Pages – First Batch

So our church has a craft fair every year and this year I have already started making some blank scrapbook pages to sell for the first time ever. I’ve only ever scrapbooked for myself or others but always with pictures. I’m hoping they do well and I still plan on making some others. Besides the ones below, I plan on making more Christmas/Winter pages and Wedding pages. I think the Christmas and Winter themed pages will do the best at this craft fair because it is Christmas themed and most of the items for sale are related to Christmas.

Besides making this scrapbook pages to sell, I also got an iPhone, both of which “accomplishments” are on my Day Zero Project List.  Yay for checking a few things off the list! (That I have less than a year to complete AKA a lot of those things will be put on a new list). The new iPhone actually makes a few appearances in the pictures as shadows.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve watched a few more documentaries since I updated the list but I can’t remember the names of them. Time to check my Netflix.

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Reach for the Moon

Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.

Okay, enough corniness. 😉 I crossed another thing off of my Day Zero Project list!

Wednesday I used my community service day from work to finally volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and I can tell you that it will for sure not be the last time I volunteer with that organization. Myself and two coworkers spent the morning putting insulation into the basement and cutting the blue insulation to go between the beams. We had to get a little creative with some of them when it came to pipes and wires getting in the way but it was a fun puzzle for us. Meanwhile, two other coworkers were building shelving in the various closets and another was all the way in the once useless top floor grouting shower tile.


When we broke for lunch we had to get creative yet again because no one, including the Subway delivery guy, remembered plates. We improvised though. Tops of plastic cookie containers make great plates.

After lunch we continued with the our previous duties and then did a lot of clean-up while learning more about the wonderful program that is Habitat. We also got to see the original plans of the house and the renovation floor plans. Very interesting stuff. We even got to meet the home owner! The site leaders of this house signed on to the project as their thesis and they even have their own blog!

I’ve also decided to add some pictures where possible to the items marked as done on my list to add some more flair to it.

In other news, I got a part-time job at a tutoring company (SO EXCITED), the third book in the Divergent series has finally been named and there’s only 164 more days until it is mine to read, I tried (and loved) yet another Pinterest recipe with edamame and in less than a month, I’ll be married for year.

Where does the time GO?

Tomorrow is my brother-in-law’s college graduation and next weekend we’re going to Columbus for an extended weekend trip. We’re seeing Les Mis and I am so excited!

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I Did It!

I’ve been in the choir at church for quite some time now and a member of the same church for basically my entire life. I am very comfortable with my voice and sing just about everywhere about anything without a single care in the world. Put me on the spot and ask me to sing by myself? I immediately turn beat red and get really nervous. Go figure.

Singing a solo in front of church has been out of the question for a while now but when our director gave us the parts CDs for this year’s Easter Cantata, I felt drawn towards the solo in “At The Cross”. It’s one of my favorite songs anyway and I felt like the solo was extremely well-suited for my voice. I began singing along to the solo part on the track and ignoring the soprano part when necessary. You wouldn’t believe how nerve-wracking it was for me just to ask our director if he had thought about who was going to get the solo. Then the two weeks of practice afterwards when he still didn’t say. Then that third week, without even telling me privately, he tells everyone right before we start the song that I was going to give it a try. Cue the bright red face that just so happened to match my sweater that day. I wasn’t mad, nope. Just nervous and wanting to know if I had it then or not since there was less than a month before the performance at the time.

I did well sitting there with only the choir members, whom I’m very comfortable with those first few practices, but then I got to practice at the microphone with a few people hanging out in the pews. For some reason, this made me so nervous my voice shook. Everything shook. This made me more nervous. At the end of this last practice before the performance, we were asked if anyone had a bad spot they needed to go over. I requested that we sing my song again and am I ever glad we did. I was able to collect myself and not have my voice noticeably shaking this time.

Today was performance day (we split our Easter Cantata into two parts). I practiced with the track twice on the way in and prepared myself to warm up due to nervousness during the performance by dressing in layers (Hey, those choir robes are hot enough as it is!). What else could I do?

I requested that Matt be there in the service from the very beginning to help calm my nerves beforehand but I couldn’t see him from where I was sitting. Yet another time when x-ray vision would have been really helpful as he was just on the other side of the lectern I would later be standing at and singing my solo. He was right there in the front row happily supporting me.

When it came time for my solo, my heart had already started beating faster and my legs were shaking. A lot. It seems that heels were a bad idea. They were even shaking for at least ten minutes after the song was over and done with. Thank goodness for the lectern that I could shake behind without any worries while I sang without the shake interfering with my voice. Matt recorded the entire song to capture everything and even though I felt very accomplished immediately afterwards, watching the recording was even better. I literally amazed myself and I normally despise any recordings of my own voice. Second service, I was even more comfortable and only shook a little. People who were there for both services told me that second was somehow even better than the first! I was told by countless people how much they enjoyed it and how well I did. Some even accused me of holding out on them. 😉

Yet another thing off of my Day Zero Project List. It feels great! Now that I’ve gotten that first ever solo out of the way, I look forward to more opportunities.

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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.


Compassion International

Well, I don’t think I’ve been happier to cross something off my Day Zero Project list save our wedding day, than I am today. We sponsored our first child through Compassion International and wrote him a letter complete with three pictures. I really cannot wait for Rio (this is his nickname, not his real name). to write back. He’s 9 years old and his favorite sport is baseball, which I can’t lie, played a part in us choosing him. Not that we’d love and pray for another child any less, but to have a good starting interest to bond over sounded like a great idea. Plus, I love his smile. 

We told him about our cat, Baxter, who our favorite baseball team is and asked him why baseball was his favorite sport. It says you can expect to receive around three letters from your child a year but that you should write to them more often than that. I have a feeling I’m going to be cherishing those three letters a year. 

We got some pointers from the Compassion International blog for writing our letter and found out that today is also Universal Children’s Day. How appropriate, and we really had no idea it was today. This is just something we’ve both wanted to do for a while and we finally did. I AM PUMPED!

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Weekend in Columbus

Matt and I went to Columbus for the weekend, originally with tickets for the Crew game until they postponed it due to a death of a teammate. I’m proud of the team’s administration for allowing them to have the day off to attend the funeral of their teammate.

All of the depressing news out of the way, we had our hotel room booked already so we dug up some other things to do on Friday and had a blast over the weekend. I rode the bus out to Matt’s office after work and we left immediately from there. We stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way down there and used a gift card from one of my wedding showers (woot woot!). Matt even bought me a small singing Christmas penguin. 🙂

Saturday we slept in a little bit then went to the Ohio History Museum complete with an outdoor village filled with people  all in character. One of the guys was particularly into his part and once he found out we were from Kentucky, he had to ask if we had any slaves and what our view on them was. He was happy to hear we were against slavery and went on a rant about how they just never know what Kentucky is up to. As another little perk, and somewhat depressing reminder, it was also educators day which means there were several booths set up with interactive lessons. My favorite building by far was the schoolhouse. It was adorable and made me want to teach in it. See, isn’t it cute?

After we were finished with the museum, we went to the most awesome outdoor mall I’ve ever seen in my life, also known as Easton Town Center. Everything looked like a piece out of time and it was filled with people! Perhaps the best part (okay, it is the best part) was when we went into the Barnes and Noble and Matt bought me my birthday present a whole month early. My Nook! I’m kind of in love with it. He also bought me Words With Friends, Watchman, Angry Birds Rio and a subscription to TV Guide. Reading a comic book on that is really awesome with the zoom feature because it zooms in/out depending on the frame sizes and moves to the next part when you tap the right hand side.

Matt also has a new favorite store and for good reason too. They had really awesome shirts about local sports teams (including our beloved Reds) and gave us each a FREE coke in a glass bottle. Heart won over.


That night we found our way to the recreation center of the city for a 100 Years of Broadway show. Let me just say I am jealous of their facilities. The show was really neat and simple as well. Just five stools/music stands with singers each in a different vibrant colored shirt or dress and a pianist. I kind of felt sorry for the only guy, but they did a wonderful job. They walked us through the history of Broadway songs by talking about each era and singing several songs from each.

Something I learned from that show? I haven’t seen nearly as many musicals as I thought and I plan on fixing that ASAP.

Sunday we ate at a donut place not available around us called Tim Hortons and my blueberry bagel was delicious. I really loved how they use real plates too. Sustainability!

After that new experience, we went back to the town center for some more shopping, mostly of the window variety and hanging out. The Container Store is amazing and I’m so so glad they have one in Kenwood. Then we went to a truly unique move experience, a Dine-In with the most comfortable seats known to possibly all of existence. We saw The Campaign whilst enjoying delicious chips and queso dip, soft pretzels and cheesy bread. Yum yum. Plus they have the bajillion flavor pop machines so I enjoyed a Peach Mountain Dew as well. The Campaigns was hysterical and if you’re a fan of either Will or Zac, you must see it. Ted was still funnier, but I loved this as well.

We decided to wait until Monday to pick up Baxter before taking him to the vet for his yearly checkup. He wasn’t too happy with me that night but he turned around quickly, as I figured he would. The vet had called earlier to ask if I could get there earlier, so I did and they still didn’t see us until the original time. No big deal, just not too happy for my baby who hates being in his cage and going to the vet.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is Olympics at work and I’m super stoked. I freaking love my office. Events include putt-putt, cornhole, rubberband shooting and ring toss. Plus lots of free food.

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People Take Movies Way Too Seriously

This is long so consider this your warning.

So please know that this is not meant to take away from the tragedy in Colorado for the same movie this experience took place because of. It would have been ridiculous no matter what.

Matt, my brother and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises Saturday evening at 8:30 in IMAX (it was amazing, but I digress). The theater we went to has a different process to make things easier for premiere weekends of big movies. Normally you go up the single escalator on the right hand side and they take your ticket there. For these special weekends, they reverse the escalators so that there’s a ticket taker on the bottom of the left hand side escaltors and you go up there after you wait in special lines. They have lines on the lower escalator level for each show time, marked appropriately but only two at a time due to space restraints. I promise this is important information.

SO we got there around 7pm to try and get a good seat. We ask the ticket taker where the line for the 8:30 IMAX showing is and he tells us there isn’t one yet and to get in line with the 7:30 IMAX people. So clearly, that is what we do.

These other patrons start their own line next to the 7:30 IMAX line, declaring it to be the 8:30 IMAX line. Our line starts moving. We get up to the front and we stop to let the other 7:30 people pass us by, as per directions from the employee. Jerks over in the self-declared IMAX line start yelling at us, saying we cut in line blah blah blah. We tell them we only did what the employee asked of us and they continue to be extremely rude. I’m getting a little heated but before I do anything, I go and ask the employee we spoke with about where to go for clarification. Guess what, I was right. He told everyone to get in the 7:30 line and they didn’t listen.

I go back to them and tell them this information that they refuse to believe (poor employee was stuck at the ticket taker booth and couldn’t move from it) or come with me to speak to him about it. They kept saying they’d wait until an employee came down to tell us all they were right and then we’d be farther back in line. Right…

We let it go. They continue to be extremely rude so we get a little miffed again. They wanted us to “own up” to something I’m not sure of (y’know, besides we can follow directions and they can’t). I go back up to the employee and he tells me to go upstairs to get someone to come down and take care of it. I do, they’re very sorry, someone will be down, blah blah blah.

No one comes down. I go back in line and the 4 people who were most vocal about us “cutting” have now moved themselves to the front of the line. OH NO WE ARE ONLY 4-7 IN LINE FOR A HUGE THEATER, WE ARE NEVER GOING TO GET A GOOD SEAT. /sarcasm

They continue to be jerks so I go up to the employee again, apologize for bothering him but I won’t be treated this way, and he asks me to go upstairs again, making sure someone comes down with me. Turns out I go up there only to have to come back down to talk to an employee in a Robin costume. This is when I start to laugh inside and pray that he will come over, in his ROBIN costume and put these jerks in their place. Well he doesn’t, but what he does is almost better. He tells me to have us all go up right now and be the first in the theater after they clear it out.

So we get our awesome seats and sit down. The group of four come into the theater about 5-10 minutes later and the one says “Oh look, they’re here”. Obviously none of us say anything to them because IT IS JUST A FREAKING MOVIE GET OVER YOURSELF.

Talking about it later, I decided that I should have found out if they have a soul or not by asking them if they realized people died the day prior in a theater for this very same movie. If that hadn’t shut them up, who knew what would. I’m mostly kidding with that part.

Oh and when Matt and I went to see the Hunger Games on premiere weekend, the same thing happened to us except we were the ones in the wrong line. Guess what we did? Got in the back of the line realizing we were wrong. AMAZING HOW THAT WORKS.

So that was our experience before the movie even started. Gotta wonder how some people were raised honestly. The movie was amazing and if you intend on seeing it, I wouldn’t read this next part.


They better make a Nightwing or another Batman movie with Robin or “Robin” taking over the Batman role. I’m leaning towards wanting Nightwing since that’s completely new to the movie world and the movie world needs new. Dark Knight Rises seriously topped Dark Knight and Batman Begins and both of those are amazing in their own right. The twist with HER being the daughter of Razagoul (totally butchered spelling, I know) instead of Bane being the son blew my mind. I was not expecting that at all. Amazing.


Oh, and I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Saturday. AMAZING. ❤ Kind of strange but the first thing that came to my mind at the end of the book was whether or not Hermoine goes back to fix her parent’s memories. I assume she did but I wish there would have been a small mention of it happening. Now I want to watch all of the movies again. Pronto!

In other news, this week is VBS at church and I’m once again finding myself in crafts, my favorite place to be. It’s been great. I had a moment where I really missed teaching because I got through to a child like no one else had apparently all day. We were making bubble magnets out of predrawn pictures the children could color but he wasn’t interested in any of those pictures. So I flipped it over and asked if he wanted to draw any of his own pictures. He still wasn’t interested so I decided to try one last thing – I drew a circle around one of the marbles and wrote his name on the inside. Finally, he was excited! He cut it out himself, glued it to the marble and asked me to draw another circle. He wound up making one for each of his parents, his brother and their dog. After the kids left, one of the guides came back to thank me for getting through to him and getting him engaged. Apparently he hadn’t done much all day. Today, it was participating without much prodding! It was wonderful.

Looking forward to two more days of crafts and the closing program!

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Baxter & The Bathtub

So like most cats, Baxter hates water, yet it seems he has forgotten this fact since we’ve moved into our apartment. That, or he just misses me so much that he’s willing to forgo his comfort to be with me. (haha) Really though, he’s almost jumped into the shower with me on multiple occasions and today came the closest he’s ever gotten. I took a bubble bath so he jumped up on the toilet seat, then the edge of the tub. He started pawing at the bubbles and came so close to falling in a few times. I’m glad he didn’t because he would not be a happy kitty but it would have been pretty funny if he had. Then perhaps, he’d let me cuddle him up in a towel like we used to when he was just a baby:

I doubt he’d let me do that though. Oh, how I miss that.

The rest of the day was spent shopping at a local outlet mall, going to IKEA for the first time and hanging out with Matt’s parents and our niece. She’s starting to recognize and love on people besides her parents/grandparents so it was extra fun. I left to go to the bathroom at one point and she was looking around for me, missing me. We got multiple kisses before we left and hugs throughout the evening. Such a great time.

IKEA? AMAZING. Five to ten minutes being in that place and I turned to Matt and said “I want a house”. We didn’t buy anything this time, but found a headboard we love and plan on saving for. We actually did buy something but it wound up not fitting in the car by like two inches so we have to go back for it. It’s this awesome black and white picture of Paris where the Eiffel Tower is the only thing in color for above our bed. I’m so excited to go back and get it.

Yesterday I caught more free concerts on Fountain Square and I’m sad that the World Choir Games are over with today. The main performance while I was there was from Cincinnati Christian Church and were they ever amazing. Seriously blessed voices with amazing talent and joy. It brightened my day immensely.

Last night we were at one of the best Reds games we’ve ever attended, especially against the Cardinals. Ironically, the more annoying fans around us were our very own whereas the Cardinals fans weren’t at all. It was just a great atmosphere for a game and was really a close one as well. Latos didn’t have his stuff last night but he was able to hold on long enough to get out of the inning and let the bullpen take over. Chapman struck out the side, guaranteeing us free Larosa’s and UDF. Gotta love free food on top of a Reds win. Ever better news? The Pirates lost last night and the Reds beat the Cardinals again today.

Tomorrow we have church and we’re going to the Reds game again. Hoping for a sweep!

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Good News – I Read 108 Pages Today

The bad news, I was stuck on the bus on the way “home” for an hour and forty five minutes due to a terrible 10-car pile-up on 471. Eight people were sent to the hospital, one by air care. I just hope they’re okay, the news hasn’t said yet but the wreck did close the highway down for four hours.

Being on the bus was interesting for sure because we were just dead stopped watching emergency vehicles pass on the shoulder for quite some time. Then we started seeing tons of cars turning around and driving in the wrong direction on the shoulder, appearing that police officers closer to the wreck were telling them to do this then drive back up the entrance ramp. Eventually there’s enough open space for the bus to turn around but the driver’s idea of turning around involved literally driving backwards up the entrance ramp, y’know until the cop told him to turn around and drive forward. I seriously thought we were going to cause another accident.

Thankfully, I made it to Raniero’s pretty darn close to on time and before the birthday boy! It was a great time. Matt and I even had some completely alone time with our niece while sister in law went to get milk for her. She was playful and happy while she was gone as well. We had the meat-lovers pizza and demolished it between the two of us. It was so delicious and I will for sure be going back.

The other highlight of the day was finally catching some free concerts from the World Choir Games on fountain square. It was super packed so I just found an empty table, sans chair, and stood eating my food. It was great to be able to be outside, eat and listen to beautiful music for an hour. I got to hear some kind of English-speaking children’s choir sing Love Shack, a children’s choir from Hong Kong and a gospel choir from Germany. It was delightful.

My D23 membership 23-month calendar showed up today as well and it’s really cool! Lots of old concept drawings for the Disney movies, most of which look nothing like the finished product. I find that all very interesting. Best part was that my friend at the post office sent a picture of it today and attached a post it note to the box saying him and his wife missed us. 🙂

Tomorrow is finally Friday and I am so excited. We’re going to the Reds vs. Cardinals game, hoping the Reds come back from the All-Star break with a fire under their butts!

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Month of Marriage, Hunger Games & Solitude

Monday was an awesome day merely because Matt and I had been married a whole month on that day. We celebrated by opening up a bottle of champagne leftover from our wedding and downing the entire thing. It’s hard to believe I’ve been married to my best friend for that long already. It’ll only go faster from here is what I’ve heard! 

Last night H and I went to see Hunger Games for the second time with my cousin and her boyfriend. She had just finished the books, rereading the first actually, and wanted to see the movie for the first time so we all went down to the cheap night at the dollar saver cinemas for it. Yup, there’s a cheap night even at the cheapies and it’s the second time we’ve taken advantage of it in the past two months. It was a great night.

Prior to the movie we were at her parent’s house for dinner. My aunt made chili spaghetti and it was delicious. Something I’ve never seen go with that meal before was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Very interesting. 

Today was the first day of this long week where I’m completely alone in my row at work. My two partners in crime are on their house trip with “the group” so things are a heck of lot quieter. I did treat myself to Graeter’s ice cream today and eat lunch on the square again. I was hoping for some choirs or bands from the World Choir Games but I got treated to the Corporate Olympics instead and was majorly disappointed. It would have been entertaining at least if I had gotten to watch but I had to sit too far away.

Oh well, I read 70 pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today, part of it at lunch. I really hate myself for being “too cool” to read Harry Potter when it was actually out. These books are amazing. 

Tonight was the first actual recipe meal I made Matt since we got married and it turned out amazing. Just some Chicken Corkscrew Pasta that I made super colorful by buying the multi-colored noodles. Just in case you’re wondering, it tasted great too. 😉 Enough leftovers for each of us for lunch tomorrow and Matt had the foresight enough to pack it in two different containers. I think I’ll keep him. 

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to going out to eat with my in-laws for my brother-in-laws birthday. We’re going to a local pizza place that went from a small hole in the wall to renting out an old Blockbuster space. I’ve heard it’s really good plus I’ll get to add another new restaurant to my 10 new restaurant list (Day Zero Project).