Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Journal Your Christmas Dec 22

In which I actually journaled the prompt on the actual day it was assigned.

December 22, 2010

Things still left to do:
  1. Empty living room of all the “stuff” so I can
  2. Rearrange the furniture so we can walk thru to the breakfast area past the tree.
  3. Decorate the tree
  4. Wrap Gifts
  5. Clean House
  6. Prepare Christmas Casseroles
  7. Make Tags

Things accomplished NOT on on the list, but more important

Got Ethan to play outside
Played basketball with Ethan

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not Journaling Your Christmas - Forward Progress

So I have journaled about Christmas I think about 3 days and only one of those journalings lines up with any of the prompts for my class. So I decided I need to take an approach that worked particularly well for me with the Picture Summer photo class that I took. For that class I made a list on my phone of each day's photo prompt and put a * beside it when I had accomplished that photo.

Journal Your Christmas comes to me each day as an email in my inbox. The actual prompt comes as a PDF file and it has lots of ideas and inspiration in it, including artwork... but because of this it takes awhile to read and I don't tend to read each one as it comes in. So I decided I needed a short list. Something I could look at to decide which prompt I want to tackle when I have a bit of time. Then I can jump right in and start writing, or look at the .PDF file for more inspiration. This time I'm making a checklist in Evernote. Evernote is an online place to keep notes & information that you want later. Usually I keep this kind of stuff in Microsoft OneNote (LOVE!!) but I don't have access to OneNote when I'm away from my laptop - so I'm trying to learn to use Evernote more - I have an Evernote app on my phone so I can access it during my weekly 2 hour lobby sit-in during Ethan's Speech & Occupational Therapy appointments - which is when I most often find myself in the mood to work on these things. I'm also hoping for a new laptop for Christmas, so I'm trying to make it easy on myself to get to from the new laptop out of hope.

Even though I am dismally behind on this project, making my Evernote list has made me very glad I took this class this year & didn't wait until Christmas 2011. This is an on-going class. Once you pay your registration, you have access to each year's new edition. This year I am happy to get anything down, but I feel like it is making me more prepared and knowing what to expect next year. I feel like having done THIS year I am more excited about next year and see that this is something I think I can do if I start form the first and work through a day at a time. I feel like just from deciding to take back Christmas this year, I have begun the process of recovery & laid a foundation for an even better Holiday season next year.

And you know Shimelle who teaches the class has done such a wonderful job of making me not feel stressed about it all. Every day's email (even today on December 20th) has these words in it "If today is your first day in class, welcome!" I can't tell you how "OK" that has made me feel.  Today she also said "
During this last week before Christmas, be sure to remember to enjoy the season rather than be ruled by it.  You're in charge: do what you love and let go of anything that is causing you worry.  Let your happy holiday start with you!  Have a great day!" Isn't that great. That is just the kind of thing I need to hear!

Three Things I Learned From Jamie Oliver

  1. Slice your garlic
    all these years I've been pressing it with a garlic press OMGosh what a difference!
  2. Basmati rice works better for fried rice.
    The flavor also goes better with ginger - I've been using basmati for Indian dishes for awhile, now I'm going to start using it with Asian dishes too!
  3. Fresh home-made food is healthier than eating out.
    Here all this time I've been feeling guilty for cooking with cream, but at least when I cook my family is getting fresh recognizable foods instead of a bunch of preservatives and chemicals.
    He said something on his show Food Revolution - something about you want to be eating foods made with ingredients you could have found in your Gran's kitchen. - I love that. I can DO that!
    Thank you Jamie Oliver!

    1 & 2 I learned from cooking Jamie's recipe Sizzling Beef with Scallions & Black Bean Sauce it's in Food Revolution but it's also on the web. I made the fried rice twice, once with Basmati & the second time with long grain rice. The taste & texture of the Basmati was much better!

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    New Comment Handler

    I'm trying out a new comment handler on my blog. It's IntenseDebate. It allows you to subscribe to be notified via email of additional comments on a post (as you always could). The feature I'm excited about is that it allows you to post a reply to a specific comment. It also allows you to subscribe to just the replies to your own comment if you wish.  So you wouldn't get an email to every comment on that post, but you WOULD get an email notifying you whenever someone specifically replies to your comments.  You can also comment & reply to comments via email.

    It allows you to post comments using services like Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID. Or you can sign up for an IntenseDebate profile but you can still simply comment without one as a Guest.
    It is also integrated with Google Reader & Bloglines allowing you to read and post comments directly from your RSS reader.

    If you want to see the details here is the IntenseDebate features site.

    This is brand new to me & I'm still figuring out how it all works, but I think this will be a good thing. Let me know how you like it!

    Update: December 8, 2010 1:32 PM
    To comment from Google Reader install this Firefox Add-On gReader Comments found here: 
    Shoot, it has not yet been updated to work with the latest version of Firefox. :(

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Christmas Wishes Part 1

    One of the things on my Christmas wish list is a spot in this class at Big Picture Classes.

    It's called Yesterday & Today (despite my tendency to refer to it as Then & Now.) It's taught by Ali Edwards and it's a class to help you learn to tell over-arcing stories inter-generational stories. Stories about things that happen over time - instead of strictly event based scrapbooking. I would love to be able to do some of this... the trend right seems to be to talk about the mundane small every day details... but I also find I have a desire to scrap about the big picture. There is a lot of pressure talking about the big picture. The other thing that really appeals to me about this class is that she promises to show us how to scrap about things for which you have no pictures. I think that will be very helpful in telling more heart stories, to not have to have a photo for everything I want to say.

    Ali has posted a teaser glimpse at some of the layouts from the class on her blog.
    Yesterday & Today will run from December 30 2010 - March 30 2011.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Holiday Classes Part 2

    The second Holiday class I am taking is 25 Days of Templates: Holiday taught by Tiffany Tillman at this class I thought was a great supplement to the journaling class in case I wanted to make some of the journaling into scrapbook pages.

    This class comes with 50 Photoshop Elements Page templates & the instruction is about how to use and manipulate templates to create more customized digital pages. I anticipate that I will complete this content after the holidays are over and with forever access to the materials and classrooms I can always take advantage of them. So far I have watched the instructional videos for days 1-5, not too bad. These daily lessons are mostly about 5 minutes long, so easy to work into the day along with morning coffee.

    My first Journal Your Christmas page was actually made from a template from the summer edition of this class. Summer Template 11 by Tiffany Tillman at Design House Digital

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    What am I, nuts?! Holiday Classes Part 1

    I'm not just taking a class in the crazy month of December, I'm taking two!
    I am always behind at the Holidays. Ethan has a birthday in the first week of December and by the time I can shift my focus from Birthday to Christmas I am already far behind where I should be for holiday preparedness.

    We lost my Mom to cancer in February of 2007. Christmas hasn't felt like Christmas for years... there were heightened emotions & a dread of each year being "the last Christmas" and after she was gone, Christmas felt empty. I'd go through the motions the best I could, but my heart had gone out of it.

    I love the holidays & I want the Joy back. I want to see the charm, again. So I decided to take back Christmas. I thought this one would help me to get into the mind-set & cherish the every-day of December.

    The first of these classes is Journal Your Christmas at

    This class is about a daily journaling prompt from December 1 - January 6 to help collect thoughts about the holiday. There are also daily photographic prompts. You should see the albums that people are forming around the prompts, they are truly spectacular. An added bonus of this class is that Shimelle teaches it every year so you pay your registration once and you get access to it every year & the archives from past years too.

    I'm behind, but I knew I would be and my focus this year isn't to do every single day. It's to bring the heart back into Christmas. That's what I'm after, this year.

    The previous 2 blog posts have been inspired by this class. I've given it a label to make it easy to follow.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Journal Your Christmas: First Page

    I had no Christmas papers so I adapted with what I had. This layout is 8x8.
    Template by Tiffany Tillman. Digital patterned paper from If I Fall kit designed by J Edwards, found at Designer Digitals. Fonts are - Journal Your: Engraver's Edge, Christmas & Journaling: Constantina, December 7: Plantagenet Cherokee

    I will probably update it later when I get some Christmas digital papers & when I get my tree up I will get photos from my own house (since Ethan's Birthday was Monday, I haven't put the tree up yet) this tree photo was taken in the Lobby at Speech Therapy - I needed to get STARTED so I can start getting into this holiday season!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Journal Your Christmas: December 7

    This is the year I take back Christmas.
    I'm not going to let it rule me.
    I refuse to be a martyr to it.
    I'm won't allow myself to be swept away down a river, swallowing water.
    This season is something I love.
    I'm going to get the magic back.

    sent from my Android phone