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June 2007
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August 2007

Memorytrends Offers Registration Promotions

Cross-posted to my Scrapbooking Industry News blog:

Craftrends and Memorytrends magazines have announced two promotions for those of you planning to attend (or considering attending) the MemoryTrends Conference & Expo, September 18-20, 2007 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

  • Retailers who register by August 31st will be automatically entered into a drawing to win lunch with Lisa Bearnson, Ali Edwards, or Becky Higgins and four peers.  The lunch will take place during the Memorytrends show.
    • Only retailers who register by August 31st are eligible to win.
    • Each celebrity will host five winners for lunch.
    • Winners will be notified by e-mail by September 5th.
    • One Winner per store.
  • Sign up by Friday, August 3rd to take advantage  of one of the following FREE registration offerings, courtesy of Provo Craft:
    • Exhibits Only registration ($25 value) OR
    • one (1) Individual Conference Session ($35 value)

Click here to register for MemoryTrends.

Click here to read "Memorytrends Myths Busted!", regarding myths/rumors about the co-location of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show and the MemoryTrends show.

Photography Tip: How to take good birthday party photos

Via Lifehacker, a link to How to Photograph a Child's Birthday Party at

I liked this tip:

3. Mix up Your Shooting Angles and Focal Lengths can inject a lot of life into party shots if you do mix up your shooting angles and focal lengths at a party. Try some shots from standing up high (get on a chair even to accentuate it - this can be great for group shots) but also get down really low and shoot looking up at kids.

I also liked this one:

11. Take Before and After Shots of the Party

It’s amazing to see how a room (and people) can be transformed in just an hour or two when you have a group of children in it.

I often take a picture of the "after" on Christmas morning - it always makes me think of the movie title, "The Remains of the Day" - not because of the movie, just the phrase.  Wrapping paper and ribbons everywhere, empty gift boxes, kids sacked out with new video games, and my husband dozing in the chair.  Definitely gives a sense of "whew!  Done with the festivities!"

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Rockin' Girl Bloggers


Ultra-coolness! Katie the Scrapbook Lady thinks I'm a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  Dude, I'm totally making that a tshirt or something!

So now I get to pick 5 bloggers that "rock" and pass on this award to them! Then they are supposed to blog about 5 blogger girls that they think are "rockin" and so forth and so on.

...Angie Pedersen "rocks" and always has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in the scrapbooking world.

I'm in super-mega-blogging company: Jen Caputo, Ashley Olson, Cathy Zielske, and Michelle Thompson are also on Katie's list.

Who's on my personal A-list?

I would say Katie, but I'm not a tag-back-er... ;)
I would probably also say Michelle, but Katie already tagged her...

In the categories of all things glittery and cupcake-y, I say Shimelle Laine is a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  How can you not love all the creative mojo she puts out into the blogosphere?

In the category of tellin' it like it is, I say Kim Guymon is a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  She keeps a close eye on the scrapbooking industry, and speaks up when she sees something that doesn't seem right.

In the category of workin' the multimedia angle, I say that Tasra Dawson is a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  She has a weekly vidcast that shows no signs of fading, which is a real accomplishment.  She also loads the videos to a social sharing site, for extra viral Web 2.0 juice.

In the category of preachin' the word of the digital gospel, I say that Susan White is a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  She provides consistent informative content, and she has BIG things in the works - all delivered on a blog, baby.

In the final category of "podcast princess", I say that Heidi Miller is definitely a Rockin' Girl Blogger.  She been doing a weekly podcast for about two years now, moving quickly from newbie to princess, with incredible polish and finesse.  I've learned a lot about shameless self-promotion, trade show marketing, and podcasting from her.

Other Notable Rockin' Girl Bloggers: Wendy Smedley, Melba, Gina Tripani, Kristie T, Joan Stewart, and The Blog Squad.

La Vida Core: Week #1

Just had to report in with results from Week #1 on Weight Watchers' CORE plan - as of weigh-in on Saturday I've lost 2.4#, bringing the total to 5.8.  This was my biggest per-week loss since I started on June 9th.  Five pounds lost seems so inconsequential with what's left to go, but ya gotta start somewhere, right? 

Adapting to Core still isn't easy, but I'm becoming more familiar with what's on the list of Core foods.  The inconvenient part of Core is the pre-planning and prep work.  Most of the foods are fresh - produce or lean meats - so there's quite a bit of washing/rinsing/chopping/slicing/dicing.  But fresh food tastes really good, and I know we'll be healthier for it.  My daughter has been eating apples, grapes, and bananas for snacks, which is a big change from cookies and chips.  My teenage son is still chowing on chips and snack mixes, but he seems the only one in the family who got genetics from my mom's side of the family, lucky him (I got my dad's hearty Swedish stock - lucky me).

We tried a number of new recipes, and one made it through the gauntlet - the other...not so much.  My husband said this one chicken recipe with dilled yogurt sauce would have been fine...without the sauce.  Made me chuckle.  The one recipe that made it (approved for future meals) isn't so much a recipe as a product - Mrs. Grass/Wyler's Homestyle Beef Vegetable Soup -- made with 93% fat-free ground beef, it's Core.  (Mrs. Grass/Wyler's Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup is also Core, according to WW eTools, which is great, since my family already likes that one.)  I browned the ground beef the night before, then put it all in the crockpot to cook so dinner would be ready when we got home (I just love that feeling, knowing it's all done ahead of time.)  My husband and son really gushed over it, so this is a keeper.  Sweet - a crockpot keeper - can't beat that.

Personally, I turned in another Digital Dimension article to Memorytrends magazine this week - this one on lots of ways you can use a blog to promote a scrapbooking business.  Look for that one to come out in the September issue (just in time to promote my blogging seminars at the MemoryTrends show in September!)  My editor at MT also asked me to do another retailer profile, this one for the October issue, I think.  This will be my third retailer profile for them - I've really enjoyed doing them.  It's really interesting to hear what works for different retailers in different areas of the country, and what has helped them become successful.  MTM highlights a different retailer each issue, so if you know of an interesting success story, let me know!  :)  I'd love to do a podcast series on this subject - interviewing different retailers on the phone, hearing about popular classes, techniques, and products, and what fabulous stories are being told in their stores.  How cool would THAT be?  Maybe someday, when I'm a rich woman of leisure... (check back around 2050!)

Words from the Scale: part 1

Avoid any diet that discourages the use of hot fudge.  ~Don Kardong

I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge.  ~Paula Poundstone

You can't lose weight by talking about it.  You have to keep your mouth shut.  ~Author Unknown

I think I just ate my willpower.  ~Author Unknown

Dieting is not a piece of cake.  ~Author Unknown

I'm not overweight.  I'm just nine inches too short.  ~Shelley Winters

When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away.  But first I spray them with Raid so I won't dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn't taste that bad. ~Janette Barber

Quotes from The Quote Garden

Livin' La Vida Core

I mentioned last week that my husband and I started Weight Watchers a few weeks ago.  This isn't the first time I've joined WW - WW has worked for me many times.  (insert self-deprecating chuckle)  I've done the Flex Plan/Points program a few times.  But this week my husband and I decided to try the Core plan.  That's basically WW's answer to the South Beach diet - all whole natural foods, restricted starches, whole wheat pasta, lots of fruits and veggies. You basically eat off an approved list of foods.  If a food isn't the list, you're allowed a certain number of Points a week to spend on "other" foods.

I spent the better part of Sunday reading up on the plan; it's been a lot to wrap my brain around.  Took me longer to do our grocery shopping, too, because I was reading all the labels.  Actually I usually read the labels, but this time I was looking for different stuff (no added sugars, etc).

It will take some getting used to.  Every day for lunch I would grab a frozen dinner - easy, no thinking involved.  Dinner was also something frozen (I don't get home until 6:30pm so dinner needs to be quick - or my husband needs to start cooking......BWAhahahahaha!)

So I'll be trying lots of new recipes.  Which brought to mind Susan's Recipe Rounds challenge.  And I thought - how cool and fun it would be to digi-scrap all these new recipes??  It would essentially provide an illustration of the process we're going through, trying to live healthier.  And if a little journaling, a few quotes, and some photos might slip in there...hey...this looks quite a bit like a scrapbook!  ;) 

Approaching it from the recipe album angle feels better to me than a "weight loss journey" album.  NOT that I have anything against a weight-loss album - nothing could be further than the truth.  I applaud all those people working on such albums -- applaud and encourage.  And maybe those of you out there will find something of use in what I'm doing.  That's my hope, and my plan.

So I think I'm going to start posting a few recipes here and there, maybe some weight-related quotes (probably mostly funny), maybe a journaling prompt or two...  what I'd really like to do is something like Shimelle would put together - some online class/project like she does that's totally inspiring and full of crafty coolness.  And I feel pretty safe with this topic - she's such a skinny minnie, I don't see her taking on weight loss inspiration any time soon (maybe after her first kid!  LOL)  Who knows, maybe there's some sort of book in all this.  It's been known to happen.

So.  What do you think?

PS If any of you have any good Core recipes that a "regular" Midwestern family would eat, please share with me! ;)

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Recipe Rounds: Grilling

You may remember a recent post I made about a project hosted by my friend (and client) Susan: Recipe Rounds - Sharing Recipe Cards.  This week's theme is Grilling.  I wanted to play too, so I cranked up my FxFoto and put together a recipe card for a marinade created by a family friend.

Soy sauce marinade

You can download the full-size 6x4 card here:

Recipe card created with FxFoto Recipes Project CD
Background and Polka-Dot paper:  Roberta D'Achille, Bountiful Harvest kit
Yellow papers: Lorraine Yuriyar, Spilled Spaghetti kit
swiss dot ribbon: Michelle Underwood, Feelin' My Youth kit
Staple: Michelle Underwood, Colorful Kids kit
Font: Willing Race

Independence Day Cookout

Happy 4th of July!  Here in the States it's Independence Day, and we had assorted family members over for a cookout.  Since my husband and I joined Weight Watchers three weeks ago, having the cookout at our house ensured I had control over most of the menu.  I thought I'd share the menu and some of the easy diet-friendly recipes we used today.

Recipes after the break...

Continue reading "Independence Day Cookout" »

Do You Suffer from "Memory Clutter"?

Very interesting post on Letting go of memory clutter at Meredith Mathews' My Lemonade Stand blog.

Peter says “memory clutter” is a more common problem than most people realize. I confess that my own weakness for clutter involves the sentiment of objects, where I find myself struggling to let go of trinkets and souvenirs merely for how seeing, touching and holding them reminds me of my past, places I have been, and people I have loved and lost.

“People are terrified that if they let go of the objects, they will lose the memory,” Peter says. Jenny and Steve say they have that exact fear. “If we get rid of this piece of paper that he touched, well, there goes Jake along with it,” Steve says.

Clearing the emotional clutter will help better preserve the memory of a lost loved one. It helps to keep your emotions about the loss in a healthy place, rather than maintaining a shrine of what once was. Living in the past in that manner is not healthy for any individual and stifling for a family.

I am slowly working through de-cluttering most of my house.  It's absolutely mind-boggling to me how much cr@p there is in our house!  School papers alone could bury us alive, I think.  And with those school papers, so many little essays on thick-lined manuscript paper and color drawings of invented creatures.  With a 13yo and a 9yo, art from a kindergartener is instant nostalgia time.  I need to have a scanning party and just get rid of most of it.  Or maybe I'll do like Katie did and send it off to ScanMyPhotos.  Might be worth it.

Nostalgia is one of the hardest things about de-cluttering, I think - that and the mindset of "I might use this someday," and its cousin, "this is still perfectly good!"  But the clutter is to a point that it's overwhelming my brain and personal peace.  So bit by bit it's out of here.  Good riddance.  But if something really inspires a strong bout of nostalgia, I plan to scan it or take a picture, then get rid of it (for the most part).


My 'extra' scrapbooking supplies?  Boxes and boxes worth?  I'm planning to drop those at a local Children's Mercy Hospital for craft goodies.  I'm sure they could care less that they're "old school", or even that they're archival safe.  I just hope they have fun with them.  :)

So!  Do you suffer from Memory Clutter?