Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Memories (and a RAK!)

I hope you had a wonderfully merry Christmas with your loved ones. This year, it seemed like I had much less time to prepare and it was down to the wire, but it all worked out okay!

I was quite a busy bee. First, I baked some goodies for the folks at work. Thank goodness for this yummy Gingerbread Hug Cookie recipe from Ronda. It was a huge hit!

Richard and I made a little gingerbread tree on Christmas Eve... He helped me decorate it because I was making a mess!

We celebrated with Richard's family...

We enjoyed our holiday traditions... My family always gets together on Christmas morning for a delicious breakfast.

We opened gifts... I received some wonderful presents from family and friends. My favorite gift was a sentimental one from my Mami who passed away last year. She had saved a gold butterfly charm holder to give to me and my aunt wrapped it up for me and put it under the tree... I couldn't hold back my tears! I miss my Mami so much.

We visited my sister-in-law, Roxana, at the convent...

We attended a wedding the day after Christmas...

And we hung out at Jungle Island with our BFF's on Sunday...

Today I woke up with a sore throat! Still, I took down the Christmas decorations and straightened up the house. Now, if I could just get my scrap room in order, I'll be happy. That way, I can start scrapping and finishing up my December Daily :)

Ready for a giveaway!?

To celebrate 2009, I'm giving away an album! This is a 6x6 mini album inspired by one of Jenny Bowlin's project kits this year. It would make a great "2009 Year in Review" album. All you have to do is add your photos and some embellies and journaling. The rest is already done for you! To be entered to win, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite (or most cherished) present was this year. Be sure to sign up to be a follower on my blog if you haven't already done so. I'll pick a winner on New Year's Day (January 1).

Each month of the year has its own spread. Here's a peek at some of the inside pages.

Merry wishes and joyful dreams,

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

I just want to wish you all a beautiful and magical Christmas! Thank you so much for visiting my blog throughout the year and leaving me some sweet comments. They make me very happy :)

I truly believe that this is the most magical time of the year, the most wonderful time, a time to celebrate and be with loved ones. I miss my parents and grandparents so, so much right now. But through the sadness and the tears, I know they're with me right now... and I know God is caring for them (and for us!)

Merry wishes and joyful dreams!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mexico pics | Weekend with friends

Hi my friends!

How are those Christmas preparations going? I'm just about done with my Christmas shopping. Hooray! I only buy gifts for the people that I actually get to see on Christmas Day so that keeps my list pretty manageable. I do go to a few houses that day though, but I love house hopping. In fact, I look forward to it every year! :) We start at my family's home early in the morning, then we head to Richard's parents house around 1 pm, sometimes we visit his cousins next since the whole family ends up there in the evening (but we don't exchange gifts... we just eat! LOL!). At the end of the day, we head to our BFF's house. After all that, we're tired and we usually have a lot of presents to bring back with us. So the next day we rest and clean up the mess that's left behind...

Anyway, let me stop my rambling to show you some photos of my recent work trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were there to launch one of our newest publications, Experience Riviera Maya, an in-room destination guide for the hotel association.

The trip started with us getting pulled over by the national military. They looked a bit intimidating with big machine guns. They asked us to get out and searched the truck. After a few minutes we were on our way and, thankfully, everything was okay. We learned they usually pull over locals at these checkpoints to look for illegal weapons and such.

Later that day, we attended our event...

After the event, someone in the group got an urge for Häagen-Dazs so guess where we ended up after midnight?! I have never seen such a fancy Häagen-Dazs joint. We sat down, we were handed a huge menu with tons of ice cream, shakes and even fondue options, and a waiter came up and took our order. Pretty cool, huh?

And here are a couple of destination shots I took while on a fast-paced walking tour...

Overall, it was a successful and productive trip.

This past weekend, I spent the afternoon at Damaris' house. Her home is decorated so beautifully for the holidays. This is just one wall in her house!

I got to see some sweet friends, including Maritza. It was so much fun to meet her daughter and see her adorable grandson for the first time. He's such a good baby!

And this is the BEST belated birthday present I have ever received!!! Look at this beautiful throw pillow she made me with my initial on it! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I showed it to Richard and he liked it, too. He said to me, "Where's my pillow? We need one with my initial on it to match!" LOL! He's too much!

I'm working on Days 11-13 of my December Daily album so I'll post pics of these pages soon. Also, I'm giving away a Jenny Bowlin 2009 Year in Review mini album. Check back soon to enter the giveaway!

Merry wishes and joyful dreams!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekend in Philly | December Daily: Days 8, 9 and 10

What a crazzyyyyyy (and fun) few days I've had! Richard was working in Philadelphia for the past two weeks (he came home the weekend before last and then he left again). On Thursday evening, I flew out to Philly and joined him for a cold, beautiful adventure-filled three days. I just wish I could have stayed longer!

Christ Church

At the very top of the City Hall Tower; you can see Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey from this point

Festive decor inside a building

Love sculpture at JFK Park

Street scene near Christ Church

Princess Diana exhibit at the National Constitution Center

Valley Forge; there were so many deer in the park!

I was hoping for snow, but we didn't get any. Unfortunately, Miami has been HOT and HUMID and HOT and DISGUSTING. I'm talking record high 80-something temps! So I welcomed the 20 and 30-degree weather with open arms (and some long johns! LOL!) I love it when it's cold because I get to wear my scarves and my hat and coat... :) I lived in Colorado when I was in 3rd and 4th grade and I remember building tunnels through the snow and climbing out the windows in the winter... how fun!

Now comes the hard part: choosing which photos will go into my December Daily album! Speaking of which, I've completed up to Day 10 so here are some pics of my latest pages.

For Day 8, I used a holiday file folder (I think it's from K & Company) and I adhered a photo of the Christmas ornament I made for the Cocoa Daisy ornament swap (see previous blog post). Inside the file folder are photos of the ornament that I received.

For Day 9, I simply matted a photo on an Archiver's card and then on a Hambly overlay. I then placed a tag from Elle's Studio on the back side.



Day 10 is just journaling. I lifted this idea from Ali Edwards. On this day, I went to work and then headed to Philly so I wanted to capture my thoughts and feelings about the trip.

I will continue with Day 11 on the back side of this page... I hope to work on more pages later this week, but right now I am packing for a work trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I leave bright and early tomorrow. I'll be back Thursday night.

I hope you're enjoying your holidays! Check back soon for another RAK (Hint: if you want to do a "2009 Year in Review" mini album, you'll want to check this out!).

Merry wishes and joyful dreams,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

This year, I made a Christmas ornament for a swap over at Cocoa Daisy. I had lots of fun putting together my ornament and I plan on creating a few more (if time permits). I just need a few more hours in my days! Teehee! Don't we all?

Here's a photo of my creation.

And this is the ornament that Kim from Eugene, Oregon made for me. She added lots of details to hers including lots of festive embellishments. How fun! Thanks, Kim! :)



I'll post more of my Dec Daily album on Monday. Have a great weekend and happy scrapping!

Merry wishes and joyful dreams,

December Daily - Days 5, 6 and 7

Hi my friends!

Boy, I've sure been busy! It's been a crazy week at work trying to get a few books to the printer. Next week should be more manageable so I cannot wait for this madness to end.

I finished a few more pages for my December Daily album. Here's Day 5 (one of my favorite pages so far!). Of course, you'll notice a similarity between my page and one of Ali Edwards' pages. What can I say? She inspires me! I printed out a large photo with a hand drawn brush from Designer Digitals and some journaling right on the photo. Love it!



Next is Day 6 with a cute photo of the "Three Amigas" (me, Ady and Damaris). LOL! This was a photo that Cheryl took of us at the Christmas Crop on Sunday. I folded and stapled my ribbon to create this cute ruffle effect (something I learned from Damaris). I actually messed up this page because I forgot to punch the holes on the side to insert the binder rings and then I realized that the holes fell where my journaling appeared. Therefore, after some brainstorming, I decided to adhere the page to a Clearly Heavy Hambly overlay so that I could have some room on the side to punch the holes.



For Day 7 I used a Jenny Bowlin bingo card and adhered patterned paper to the back along with a self-portrait I took at the entrance to my home. Easy peasy!



That's all for now. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season! I still need to finish decorating my home and do some Christmas shopping so I am way behind schedule. Yikes!

Merry wishes and joyful dreams!