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Blog It 52

Blog It 52
Blog It 52

Everyday Life

Everyday Life
Everyday Life

Digital Scrapbooking

Digital Scrapbooking
Digital Scrapbooking
Blog It 52 | Week 4 - My Must-Have Apps

Blog It 52 | Week 4 - My Must-Have Apps




I am not a huge app person. I do have a few that I use everyday though. If I was going to be honest, most of the apps on my phone are used by my son. Things like Goat Simulator (yep...that's a thing), Minecraft, and reading apps. There are two that I use no matter what. Every single day.


Week #4 - Your Must Have Apps




I am not lucky enough to have the memory thing on my FaceBook. I have been using Timehop for years though! Before they had it for the Android. When I changed over from my iPhone to an Android, I was so bummed I couldn't use it anymore. That was years ago though.

The photo-taker and scrapbooker in my loves this app! I check this app everyday. Usually before I even get out of bed. Yes...I am one of those that checks my phone before I start my day.

I love being able to look back for years and see what was going on on this exact day. The good, the bad, and the ugly! I especially love looking back and seeing my son and nephews when they were much smaller than they are now.

So, what is Timehop exactly? If it isn't self explanatory or explained well enough from my droning on, here is what they have to say about themselves.

A time capsule of you.

See your photos and updates from this exact day in history. Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends! 




I am not going to explain what instagram is. We all know what it is, right? I used to be a sporadic poster on instagram. I am now using it daily though. I use it for my project 365. Posting a photo a day every single day. I really enjoy it! Even though we are not through January yet, I already like looking back at the month. You can follow me at march2december


So there you go. Pretty boring, right? Just a photo loving mom and her photo loving apps! 


You guys!! That is only two apps. I know there are more apps out there that I should be using. I also realize I am super boring! So....help a girl out!! 

What apps should I download? 

What apps do you use everyday? 

Make sure you come back and link me up with your blog post. I love to read what you all have to write. I will also showcase a few of your posts on my FB and twitter!
There are no rules for Blog It 52. Only to have fun and blog! If you want, you may grab this button to showcase with your blog post.
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LaShawn C
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Blog It 52 | Week 3 - What is Beautiful?

Blog It 52 | Week 3 - What is Beautiful?



I am not going to lie. I am not sure why this week's Blog It 52 topic is what it is. I came up with these topics at the end of  2012. I changed about half of them when putting out this year's Blog It 52. I guess I overlooked this one. I really didn't want to do this one. I am gong to stick to my goals though and blog all the topics.


Week #3: Your Definition of Beautiful


What is beautiful? If you ask 100 people, you would likely get 100 different answers. According to google beautiful is

beau·ti·ful
ˈbyo͞odəfəl/
adjective
  1. pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.

    "beautiful poetry"

    • of a very high standard; excellent.

      "the house had been left in beautiful order"



What is Beautiful to Me? 


Beautiful isn't always (usually always isn't) something physical to me. Someone who is physically aesthetic is more pretty, lovely, sexy, nice, and so on. Beautiful is more of how someone is inside. I guess that I get my definition of beautiful from growing up in church and reading the bible.

1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

You can be the most physically appealing person to walk planet earth; and be as ugly as can be. Today's post is short and sweet. Like I said at the start, I am not really sure why this post is here. Maybe there is a reason it was left in. Maybe someone else struggled with what they felt is "beautiful" like I was in 2012.


What I learned in the past five years is this:


  • Beauty isn't physical
  • Always take the highroad
  •  Forgive
  • Smile
  •  Love


Those are just some things that I have found to help me understand what beauty is; and to apply it to my everyday life.


BLOG IT 52 - FIND OUT MORE!
I am sorry if this post isn't to your liking either. I hope you still stick with the Blog It 52 though!

Make sure you come back and link me up with your blog post. I love to read what you all have to write. I will also showcase a few of your posts on my FB and twitter!

There are no rules for Blog It 52. Only to have fun and blog! If you want, you may grab this button to showcase with your blog post.
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LaShawn C
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Blog It 52 | Week 2 - 2017 Reading List

Blog It 52 | Week 2 - 2017 Reading List



Here we are in week two! How are you doing with your resolutions, goals and projects? So far, so good for me. I am taking photos, blogging, and staying strong on my path to healthy living. It is only two weeks into it though. 😀 I should have mentioned in my week one post about my reading goals for 2017. I guess because I knew this post was next, I just missed that.


Week #2: 2017 Reading List


That's right. I am going to talk about what I am going to be reading this year. I love love love to read! I prefer to read an actual book. Like turn the pages, smell the paper, and see the cover kind of book. However, I usually end up reading via my kindle. Just because it is easier to tote around; and I can read it whenever.

I am super picky when it come to reading. I find that I spend more time finding a book than actually reading it. If the book I am reading doesn't have me hooked by chapter two, I'm out. I detest having to force myself to plow through a book to get to the good parts. I read for enjoyment. If it isn't enjoyable, I don't read it!

I went to my "to-read" list to make a list of what I am going to read this year. I found hit lacking. I think after this blog post I am going to spend some time finding great books to read. I wouldn't mind some suggestions! Seriously...what should I read?

My 2017 Reading Goal

There are 12 months in a year...duh. I think I can manage 12 books this year. I ended up reading 30 last year. That I marked down anyway. I think it was closer to 40. With that in mind, here are 5 books that I want to read this year. (Images and synopsis from Amazon. Affiliated links.)

The Books


by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess

There is not a synopsis for this book yet on Amazon. I have been waiting for it for ages though. It comes out this summer. I have read all the Amelia Peabody books written by Elizabeth Peters. I have read them all multiple times. (The only other books I've ever been able to read more than once is Harry Potter.) Elizabeth Peters passed away mid writing of this book. It has been finished up by Joan Hess. 

Amelia Peabody books are usually based in Egypt in the Victorian time period. Amelia and her family (husband, son, daughter in-law, grand-kids, and so on) go every winter to Egypt to excavate. They usually end up in some kind of mystery. It starts from when Amelia and her husband meets and goes until she has grandchildren. 




by Julie Klassen

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them--and her future--in a different light.
With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

This book reminds me of The Widow of Larkspur Inn. It also popped up on my Facebook feed. It stated if you loved Downton Abby, you would love this book. I love Downton Abbey! So I added this book to my list.


The Lost Hero
by Rick Riordan


Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she's his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.


This is technically a young adults - middle school read. I have read every Heroes book by Rick Riordan though. I loved them all! The movies for Percy Jackson failed miserably in conveying how fun the books are. My #1 favorite thing about his books? The snark. It leaves me in stitches every time. Plus, I like Greek, Norse, and Egypt mythology.



The Women of the Cousins' War
by Philippa Gregorgy, David Baldwin, & Michael Jones


#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.
In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love. And Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor.
Beautifully illustrated throughout with rare portraits and source materials, The Women of the Cousins’ War offers fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction and will appeal to all with an interest in this epic period.

If I could only read one thing, it would be historical fiction and history. Hand-down! I especially enjoy reading the time period of the Plantagents and the Tudors. Philippa Gregory is a best selling author for historical fiction. Although, she isn't my favorite. This seems to read more like an essay than fiction. I cannot wait to read it!


Wild and Free
by Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan


For all the fullness of God available to His daughters, we often feel limited by two defining insecurities: “I am too much,” and “I am not enough.”
Co-authors and best friends Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have felt the same, until one essential question turned the tables on it all: If God is wild and free and he created women, what does this mean for us today?
Wild and Free is an anthem and an invitation in equal parts to find freedom from the cultural captivity that holds us back, and freedom to step into the wild and holy call of God in our lives. With fresh biblical insight tracing all the way back to Eve and a treasury of practical application, Jess and Hayley reveal how women today can walk in the true liberty we already have in Jesus.
 Because you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to try so hard to button it up and hold it together. And you certainly don’t have to quiet the voice that God gave you when he created you to sing. Wild and Free will help you shake off the lies of insecurity in your life, and step forward to maximize your God-given influence for his glory and the world’s good.

I really think the description does a wonderful (hopefully) job of describing this book; and explains pretty well why I want to read it myself.




You guys!! That is only five books. I need seven more books to read to reach my goal. I was not joking when I said to suggest books. I am super picky; and I turn away from reading books fairly quickly when I am looking for myself. I usually always attempt to read suggested books though.

What should I read in 2017?

What are you reading in 2017?

Make sure you come back and link me up with your blog post. I love to read what you all have to write. I will also showcase a few of your posts on my FB and twitter!
There are no rules for Blog It 52. Only to have fun and blog! If you want, you may grab this button to showcase with your blog post.

Read more »
LaShawn C
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Blog It 52 | Week 1 - New Year Projects & Goals

Blog It 52 | Week 1 - New Year Projects & Goals



Happy New Year everyone!! I say it every year and I am sure I will keep saying it...I cannot believe that another year has made it's way around. 2017!! I swear it seems like it should still be early two thousands. I have been out of high school for nearly 20 years. I will have been married for a decade this year. My child will also leave the single digits in age and be 10 years old at the end of 2017. Wow!

2016 wasn't the best of years. Well, it wasn't bad for me personally. As the world as a whole though, 2016 was one of the worst years I can remember. With death, terrible elections, war, fire, drought, sickness, and more. I think, like most people, I am glad to see a new year dawn. Does that mean with a passing of a second that everything will be better? Of course not. I am not delusional. It does give a nice starting point for change though.

With that in mind, the new year also brings new projects, goals and resolutions. It also brings in Blog-It 52!! That is what we are going to talk about today. My week one post of 52 weeks of blogging.


Week #1: New year Resolution, Projects, or Goals

For my 2017 resolutions, projects, or goals I have two things. I am staying away from the resolution side of things. If I was to have one, it would be to be healthy. I am already on that (slow) path. I hope to just keep plodding at it.

My 2017 Projects

For 2017 I have set myself two projects. One from the blogging side of things; and one from the digital scrapbooking side of things. My blogging project for 2017 is...well...Blog-It 52.

What is blog-it 52? Well, it is a lot like a project 52. A photo a week kind of thing. However, it isn't photos. It is blog posts. I know there has to be bloggers out there, like me who struggles with consistent blog posts. So, for at least one post a week, I got you covered!!

Yes. It is as simple as that! Back in 2015, I would only post 2 months at a time. This year, I am giving them all to you right now. Hey...you can even get started on those posts if you so fancy! Every week, whatever day you want, take that prompt and blog about it. I would love if you came back here & linked up with everyone else. You don't have to though. There are NO RULES with this project. I just want to help other people blog.

My digital scrapbooking project for 2017 is Project 52. You will also see it called P52. I have done this before. In 2012 I took a photo a week of my son; and I scrapped it. It was fun to see how much he changed from the start of the year to the end. This year (and because at 9 he isn't as willing as 4. lol) I am going to be taking a photo a week that represents what my week was. Could be anything! I am going to scrap it though. I will show you guys from time-to-time.


My 2017 Goal

So as I write this I am seeing how this could also be a resolution. I really really really don't want to think of it that way though. I would like to see it more as a goal. Something I can write down and envision. Something to work towards. Not just a general theme or idea to hold for 2017.

My goal for 2017 is to get my PCOS under complete control and to be under 200 lbs. I don't care if it is 199 lbs. I just want to meet that goal. That gives me 365 days to lose 31 lbs. Do I hope to lose more? Well, yes. Will I be happy with 31lbs? Absolutely! I think it is a obtainable goal.

With PCOS weight loss is the best way to drop manage the symptoms. There is no cure. You can only manage it. I have already started seeing results with just 12 lbs lost. TMI to follow. I finally had a period. I have not had a real one since 2015. I don't feel sick every single day. I don't ache all over. My hair stopped falling out; and my blood pressure has come down. I cannot wait to see how I will feel by the end of 2017.





There you have it. Week 1 in the books for Blog It 52. What are your resolutions, goals, and projects for 2017?

Make sure you come back and link me up with your blog post. I love to read what you all have to write. I will also showcase a few of your posts on my FB and twitter!

There are no rules for Blog It 52. Only to have fun and blog! If you want, you may grab this button to showcase with your blog post.

Happy New Year!
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LaShawn C
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My Thoughts on Rogue One (Spoilers!)

My Thoughts on Rogue One (Spoilers!)


So I realize the photo above isn't really from Rogue One; but it is Star Wars. I promise there are Stormtroopers galore in the movie. Just not Captian Phasma. Work with me here. :-) Since I am giving commentary on the post itself; I probably should mention spoilers. 

This blog post will have plot and ending spoilers for Rogue One. You have been warned! 

Star Wars and Me

I probably should start out by saying that I haven't always enjoyed Star Wars. In fact I hated it. I was lost to Star Wars the moment Luke Skywalker was stuffed into a Tauntaun. Yuck! I also just really didn't care for movies from the 70s and 80s. 

Fast forward to adult La'Shawn. I married Mr. Geek; and together we had Baby Geek. lol. Seriously though. My son seems to pick one thing a year and fixate on it. That is kind of the meaning of geek after all. One day my husband sat down with my son (I watched but mostly scrapped) and they watched all the Star War movies to that point. The kid was hooked! He was Darth Vador for Halloween, followed up by a Star Wars birthday party. The following year the The Force Awakens came out. Man-oh-Man that boy loves him some Star Wars. 

For me, once I re-watched them as an adult, I found that I also loved them. We looked forward to Rogue One coming out this year. Especially (like the one before this one) they come out around the kiddo's birthday. This year we just didn't have the time to go see it until yesterday. It was kinda sad that it happened to fall on the same day the news came out about Carrie Fisher. 😔 So here are my thoughts on the movie....

I didn't like it. I wanted to so much! For the most part it was a good movie. However the things that I thought were bad were just too much! The bad just outweighed the good and important parts. 

The Good

  • It adds to the overall story-line. I did enjoy how Rogue One added to all 7 movies that are out at the moment. It took the destroying of the Death Star and showed you how. It showed you the sacrifices made and the struggle it took. The destroying of the Death Star was a huge step forward in the Rebel's fight. It was a great point in the story line to expound on. 

  • It gave a more"human" (using that term loosely) face to the Rebel's fight. Luke and Leia were born to the cause. It was their legacy. Han was along for the ride, adventure, and love. The cause wasn't...well his cause. This movie put relatable faces to the the Rebels. It took the people who lost everything, had nothing else to lose, who lived, breathed and died for the cause and put you smack in the middle of it. I think the best thing about this movie is that it gave a face to the Rebels. 

  • Darth Vader!! I could not mention the good without mentioning him in this movie. The Star War legacy is built on him (in my opinion). He is the bad guy of the movies. Everyone loves a good bad guy! Especially one that we have watched grow up from good, to tortured, to bad! Let me tell you...Darth Vader is bad in this movie! You should have seen my son's eyes light up when he saw him on the screen. More like when he heard Darth Vader's music. There is one epic scene where Vader is kicking butt and taking names. It is fantastic! 

  • K-2SO. If you don't know who that is, or remember the name, it is the reprogrammed Imperial droid. He is hilarious! He has zero brain mouth filter. He says what he wants; and it is so funny. To me, he does seem like a nod to C-3PO. Maybe more of a generic version "reprogrammed" to be 2016's version of snarky. Generic version or not, I loved that character in the movie. Much needed comic relief. 

The Bad


  • Freaking everyone dies! Everyone! They took this story line, expounded on it, gave a face to the Rebels...then killed everyone. Right down to K-2SO. I mean everyone!! I kind of agree with my husband and sister-in-law. They likely killed everyone off because they are not important to the rest of the story line. I also get that it drives home the point that sacrifices have to be made for that kind of cause. Seriously though...everyone?! Did freaking everyone have to die? The point could have been made with letting a few characters live. It seemed more of a shock-and-awe kind of thing. It took away from the movie for me. 

  • The CG. Before writing this post, I looked around at other articles about the CG in this movie. I am not the only one that seems to have a problem with it. I would also like to point out (and my husband would tell you also), I am crazy over-analytical. Others (like my son) might not notice the CG. I noticed immediately. It absolutely took away from the movie for me. 


As you can see, there are more actually good things about Rogue One than bad. I didn't even list all the good things about it. However once they sucked you in (despite the snaps out when they put in the freaky CG characters in it) they killed everyone off. They got you emotionally attached to these people, then killed them. It was too much for me. They could have left some alive. They didn't even have to leave the two main Rebels in the movie alive. One or two would have been nice.

I don't know. Maybe that wont take away from the movie for you. I know it didn't for a lot of people. It did for me though. I will watch it again. It really does add to the whole story of the Star Wars. I just didn't find it amazing as others.

Tell me what you think of the movie!! Do you agree or disagree with me? 
I really would love to hear your opinions on it. 

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LaShawn C
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The Flash Inspired Birthday Party

The Flash Inspired Birthday Party


[left-sidebar]

I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a week away, that 2017 is less than two weeks away, and that my (not so) little guy turned 9 years old yesterday! Since his birthday is a week away from Christmas, and people are crazy busy around the holidays, we always have his party during the 1st few weeks of December. 

It has been a pattern the last 3 years that he picks a theme for his party that isn't popular at the time. Meaning that I cannot find pre-made birthday decorations by just popping into the local Party City. For his 7th birthday he chose Star Wars. You're thinking, "Star Wars?! That is all over the place!" Well...not 3 years ago it wasn't. That was one year before the new ones came out. I had to search high-and-low for decorations. The following year...they were all over the place. For his 8th birthday he chose Doctor Who. Yep...he is unashamedly geeky! There were no Doctor Who decorations to be found in the US. I had to order them all from the UK. This year...I found them all over. 

This year (after a few changes) he decided that he was going to go with The Flash for his birthday party. Sigh. Seriously? There were NO decorations that were just the Flash ANYWHERE. Not in the states or otherwise. So, I looked around Pinterest and Etsy to get some ideas to throw a Flash inspired party. 

Yellow and Red



When all else failed, I just went with yellow and red. My sister and I went to party city and bought yellow and red table clothes, platters, bags, plates, and balloons. With using the two colors as the main scheme of the party, it ended up being a bit cheaper. Plain yellow and red decorations cost considerably less than decorations that have a theme. This allowed me to spend more money on main pieces of the decorations that were custom made. 

Custom Made Decorations

I will link you up with what I bought for the custom pieces. My main goal was for the custom pieces to be not only the main focus of the decorations, but to tie the yellow and Red together. My favorite was the banner. He has kept the end pieces and the whole banner with this name to put up in his room. 

I also went with custom shaped cookies and some fun confetti to add to the tables. My uber talented mother made both the cookies and the cake. I bought the cookie cutter on Etsy as well as the confetti.

For the finishing touches I made the flash goody bags, cut up some fruit (red and yellow) and found a cool flash wall art at Hobby Lobby to add to the table. The bags were crazy easy to make...so easy! I bought the red bags at Party City and the yellow paper (doesn't even have to be card stock) at Office Depot. I used the cookie cutter to trace my shape on a piece of cardboard. I traced enough on the yellow paper. Then my MeeMaw and myself cut them out. Slapped them on with a bit of glue; and filled those bad boys up with candy. 


The Cake


I know you have been eyeballing that cake in the photos. It is amazing, right?! Like I mentioned earlier, my crazy talented mom made that cake. That is the one the boy wanted, so that is what she made. Outside the fondant flash embalm. I know that I couldn't make this cake on my own. However, a baker (or yourself if you have more talent than me...which isn't much!) could make this easy. Here is a better look at the cake. 




The Party

That is a look at all the fun decorations and cake that made my son's 9th birthday party awesome. A lot of us wore flash shirts to go along with the theme. My hubby, my parents, and myself all got into the Flash theme of the party. 

It was such a fun party and the kiddo had a blast. Despite being sick. Little did I know he would be down the next day and miss the following two days of school! The best part of the party? Watching him open gifts. He never leaves us disappointed with this looks of excitement. 





<<  Pin to Save & Read Later



There you have it. How we got our party on Flash style...well..The Flash style anyway. :-) With some fun custom made items, great baked goods, and a color scheme, this party came together super easy and for not a lot of money. 

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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LaShawn C
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Christmas Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Christmas Digital Scrapbooking Layouts



It is that time of the year!! Christmas will be here in 10 days! We were a bit late getting our tree up this year. My husband has been one hard working man. We just have not been able to find the time to get it up. I have been able to find some time to get some lovely Christmas digital scrapbooking layouts completed. I cannot wait to get these printed! Here they are:


credits:
Festival of Trees Templates by Miss Fish Templates
and
Home for the Holidays Full Kit by Trixie Scraps Designs






credits:
Life 2016-December Bundle by Melissa Bennett
and
Bling it on #1 by Heartstrings ScrapArt







Deck the Halls and Think Positive Single Template by River~Rose




credits:
Winter Joy - Bundle by Aprilisa Designs.andCandy Cane Lane Tempaltes by Dagi Temptations







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LaShawn C
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