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time: 5:55 pm location: dining room eating: asian chicken burgers w/ coconut rice drinking: diet rootbeer (of course) listening: Fresh Beat Band in the background watching: Tyler popping peas with his finger (his new thing) creating: another set of PL cards to be screen printed wishing: I was that parent who didn't think twice about traveling with a young one wanting: lemon brownies needing: to get the spare bedroom ready for a house guest next month (she will have to sleep amongst a sea of scrapbook supplies) having: too much fun playing with photobooth

Studio Calico March Reveal

Although I loved this month, I stuggled with my layouts a bit. I still can't really pinpoint why. Maybe I was just preoccupied with other projects? Who knows but I think through the struggle I found a burst of creative energy and got it done. It was nice to be able to pull some inspiration from the Studio Calico Pinterest board this month. You can see the pin here.

Items used in my layouts this month: Silhouette Cameo (still worth every penny) Mister Huey Clay Martha Steward Glue Pen (I've really fallen in love with this glue) Glue Art tape runner Foam Tabs Staz On in Jet Black  JBS in Weathervane Precision Pens Honey Bee scissors

And a quick sneak at some new things that will be in the LifeLovePaper shop this week...





TGIF//Currents//sc peeks

Trying to free up some time to create for the shop and establishing a routine with the little one has left little time for blogging and reading blogs. My google reader is so neglected. I have moved over to Bloglovin which I'm enjoying more. Being able to see the whole blog page is awesome. Now it's just a matter of getting all my other blogs from google reader switched over. Am I boring you yet? My point is, I know I owe a lot of comments back to my readers and on my favorite blogs. When I worked, I was in front of a computer screen all day. With the new transition of staying at home/creative business owner, it's more proactive in the since of I'm not sitting all day. Seems like I do a lot more running around, which is good. My ass needs it. I missed Currents this week which makes me sad but then I'm thinking, why not do Currents on a different day? Silly me.

time: 9am location: kitchen counter eating: nada drinking: coffee (which I almost poured in a bottle. I'm tired people) loving: productivity loathing: wasted food (I've got to stop this) wondering: if I'll have a photoshoot tomorrow wishing: I was closer to my creative buds creating: some screen prints (can't wait to show you!) thinking: of what I need at the store

And some Studio Calico sneak before I take off....

Enjoy the weekend!

bits + pieces from today

I had a full day planned with Tyler but that sort of got nixed due to the snow. We still ventured out...just not as far as I'd hoped. No sense traveling to a part of town that's crazy busy in this kind of weather. We did manage to go to Micheals to grab a few neon paints + a screen (I can't let a coupon go to waste), then to the video store to grab a couple of dvds (yes, I'm old school) none of which I've manage to watch yet. Today was a perfect day to get back in our pjs + make a pot of chicken soup. Oh and some crafting + picture taking...obvi, right? I was finally able to capture little man loving on Butters. Is it not the cutest thing ever? Ty's actually saying "ooooo" as he's full on bear hugging the dog + you can see that he's just soaking it in. I tried stopping the kiss but Jeff told me to let it go. Apparently it happens a lot when I'm not looking. Some things you just can't stop.  :)


time: 1:01 pm location: kitchen counter aka my new office eating: nothing yet drinking: rootbeer thinking: about Tyler's testing tomorrow wondering: how he'll do wanting: everything to be ok needing: to streamline my routine creating: my own Project Life & a few digital layouts listening: to nothing. it's completely quiet and I love it. watching: the neighbor unload her groceries wishing: I could snap my fingers & the whole house would be clean

I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog about Tyler's testing or not...I can't even remember if I mentioned this whole ordeal about his kidney when he was born. I think I did, maybe? I can't remember anything anymore. Tyler was born with a severely dialted kidney and we had gone through several tests the day after his birth to figure out the why and how bad it was. 3 months later, more tests. Unfortunately it wasn't good news. Our specialist recommends waiting a year until any type of surgery can be done with the possibility that this may correct itself. So here we are a little over a year later and back to testing. This time it's going to be hard. He's not just a little baby who lies still. I'm told they will forcefully hold down his legs to insert the catheter. That not only makes me cringe but makes my heart sink. The thought of him being held down kills me. The nurse assured me that this will be quick and that it's almost always harder on the parents than the child. Then it's waiting on the results. I'm shaking my head at the possibility of surgery. Jeff and I have this inside joke about Tyler being like the Wolverine. That he heals faster than a normal human and he is a little on the hairy side. :) If you all could do us the favor of sending your positive thoughts and prayers, we would be so grateful.

happy love day!

Oh love. Isn't it sweet? And I'm sure those of you who are bitter on this day are telling me to shove it but hey...I've got a little something for ya!A few free Currents inspired PL cards for your love (or hate) day. It's a PDF that's ready to print, waiting for your Currents list!



I had the pleasure of creating with March's Studio Calico kit over the weekend. Each month I tell myself  "this is definitly my fave" and of course, this month is no exception.

Making bakers twine work for me again. This time with my nifty Martha Stewart glue pen. I simply traced around the circle and patted down the twine. It was just too cool to put aside and not use.

First day with the new routine. Going well, going very well. Will be even better tomorrow when I don't have to get up + drive through morning rush hour traffic in the snow. Instead I'm tackling the task of teaching myself Adobe Illustrator. Quite daunting but that's how I felt about Photoshop at first. Some where in the I'll have to whip up a quick Valentine for the hubs. Little man already got his gifts but I'll be making him a special treat (strawberry shortcake). I made this a few weeks ago and let him have a few bites. It was hilarious....he kept saying "mmm...mmm" with such delight, like it was the best thing he's ever eaten.

Happy Valentines Day!


time: 9:24pm location: bed eating: cheerios w/bananas drinking: water watching: TopChef thinking: about how weird it will be to not be employed wanting: a mouse + stylus for my Mac needing: to take my camera in for repairs creating: a chalkboard with MS paint + an old pin board. wondering: how awkward it's going to be on my last day loving: Tyler learning his body parts, can now show me where his belly is

2 days left. It's starting to feel surreal and odd. What I'm about to write is not meant to's just something I feel like I need to say out load. I never ever thought I would be a stay at home mom. Never say never, right? When I was pregnant with Tyler, I remember being adamant about working after he was born. I've always worked. At the time, I liked my job. I liked getting up in the morning with a purpose and using my head to solve a multitude a problems. Tackling various tasks, chit chatting around the water cooler...all of those things you do when you work in an office. I thought I had it all figured it out. That was the Tina who was niave and had no effing clue about motherhood. Not one. I had my own idea but it's no where near the reality of actually being a mom. People (other moms) warned me about the possibility of wanting to stay home after Tyler was born. Nope, I told them. Not me. I will be returning to work in 3 months, ready + willing. I was neither. The day Tyler was put into my arms, everything changed. EVERYTHING. That's not just some cliche from a Gerber commercial. My hopes, my dreams, my all became more significant. I no longer just wanted to live coasting by like I've always done. I didn't want to tuck away goals or brush away ideas. My job was no longer satisfying and quite frankly, the frustration I felt was starting to wear on me. Then my grandmother passed away last fall. So there's the equation. The birth of my son after 4 years of trying + a job I no longer enjoyed + the loss of my grandmother, whose influence helped shape the person I am today = ONE HELLAVA LIFE CHANGE. I'm always weary about bringing up this whole stay at home versus working mom thing. Not trying to start any kind of debate. Really, there's no debate to be had. Each choice is so very personal and no one person can ever say which is right or wrong. I already feel as though I'm defending my choice to people who ask me, "what are you going to do now?" Some one actually mentioned something about me watching soap operas in my pjs. Are you kidding me? You think I'm quitting my job to stay home and watch tv? How do you reply to something like that? I feel like I'm babbling now so I'll leave off by giving you a peek at the Currents downloadable PL cards available this Friday.

I'm already working on the next round of cards and yes, I will have the first series restocked soon. :) Oh and one last thing. My blog is a bit of a mess right now. Working with Wordpress is quite the learning experience. So please excuse the mess. :)


**the image was pinned from Tumblr but I can't find the original source. If you know that person or you are that person, please contact me at


Jamaica and I have been on this whole Impossible film exploration lately. She mentioned she was heading to the beach with her camera one weekend and I remember thinking "luckyyyyy" as I looked out the window and saw nothing but sea of white snow. The temp read -6 but it was actually about -15 in our area. I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison on our surroundings. I love how Jamaica's polaroid totally reads warmth with it's gold tones. I also love the fact that Los Osos winter temps is considered a pretty sweet summer in Alaska. xot.

creative type guest

HEY GIRL. Go to the Creative Type blog to check out their new prompt and a chance to win a Currents paper pack.

Paper packs and journaling cards will be back in stock in a few days. I'm actually quite shocked and wasn't prepared at how quickly they sold. I always get into this "oh, what if they don't like them" frame of mind when I put something up in the shop so I never would have anticipated them selling out in a few days. I cannot thank you all enough for your excitement over my new Currents paper packs. I hope you hang with me as I have even more new things coming out in the next few weeks that I think you'll enjoy. :) Also, eta release on the digital cards will be next week, maybe sooner.



time: 1:30 pm place: work eating: marble pound cake from Starbucks. (I hate when I get the stale piece) drinking: still working on my venti iced coffee from this morning. watching: my replacemnt do the work I hated to do. reading: blogs wanting: nothing really. thinking: good thoughts. creating: another round of Project Life cards! hoping: it's doesn't snow all night. needing: to create a weekly menu so I'm not running to the store every other day. wishing: it was the 10th already. want to have a virtual party on my last day of work?! :)

It's been harder and harder to get a decent photograph of my boy. He's never in one place at one time so most photographs are blurry or just plain weird. This is what you get today and it's an awkward one. The big coat and the snow covered ground threw him off balance. So this was the only one I snapped before he fell over into the snow. :)


Wasting time?

I'm always late posting my Studio Calico layouts here after the reveal. I started working on my post and the Make It Work bit but then I got sidetracked when I got my Bloglovin' email update and then of course that leads me to Pinterest and then it's really all downhill from there. BUT I'm on a blogging roll and I don't want to leave Monday empty so here's a photo and few bits of happiness while I write this out at 10:03 Sunday night.

*I just caught the season 3 premiere of Eastside & Down. Can't wait. *I've watched Black Swan 3 times now. It's the whole dark ballet aspect that I enjoy watching...the very end part. This coming from a person whose favorite movie use to be Center Stage. *Hubby's beard is growing back after he shaved it all off on a whim a few weeks ago. Tyler was kind of weirded out at first...he's never seen him without facial hair. I am also partial to bearded men. *Yoga. I'm thinking of joining a friend a few nights a week to do yoga. I suppose I should move forward to the actual doing rather than thinking. *Got all my materials and prints for the Currents paper packs but have hit a snag in the process. I thought I could get away with a paper cutter I purchased at Office Max. I've learned a serious lesson and will be investing in a better one. Just wish I could get it locally.

And now, I'm off to bed. xot

girl loves friday

After deleting my entry several times, I think it's best to just bid you all a happy friday. My brain is completely fried after a long week and I am worn out. I will be very happy to be able to catch up on some sleep this weekend. Maybe even sneak a nap in if I'm lucky. :) Before I take off to plant my butt on the couch + watch Jersey Shore (don't judge me), I wanted to steer you over to the Studio Calico blog to check out a quickie Project Life tutorial. These handmade cards are about the only thing I have slotted in my page protectors and I'm glad I made a big batch before the new year started.

Ok lovelies, I'm out. xot

Items used in tutorial: Mists, Clay + White + Atmosphere Ampersand Mask Journal Spots More Gray More Kraft Asterisks


Tima: 6:13 pm Location: kitchen counter Eating: minestrone soup Drinking: diet rootbeer Watching: 50/50 Reading: new issue of Professional Photographer Loving: the support of friends Needing: paper towels, a loaf of bread + a new washer Thinking: if 600 film was reproduced,  it would make the top 5 greatest moments of my life Wondering: if I can handle another project Enjoying: a handful of m&m's after dinner

Well well..look who caved and bought some Impossible film. I was being pouty after the death of 600 film and did not want anything to do with Impossible. It's going to take them sometime to duplicate 600 film but until then, I'll play around with the Color Shade specifically made for SX-70. He's been lonely so I thought it was time to dust him off and let him do his thing. It felt incredibly good to get behind my Land but the results weren't what I'd hope as you can see. I'm sure it's just going to take some getting use to, not only with the exposure but with the overall look. It does have this weird but cool looking splotches...almost like when you put salt on watercolor.

ETA on Currents paper packs: Monday 1-30-11 :) Can't wait to show the full reveal!

Lastly one of my goals with Currents is to get you all involved! I want to see what you doing so don't forget to link me up! This week's Currents blogger is Megan Powell, a college student who wears cowboy boots and eats pepperoni sandwiches. :)

Megan, please email me at You've got a Currents paper pack with your name on it. Thanks to everyone who participated last week!


Instant Pancake Mix

You really can't beat a good stack of pancakes on the weekends. I've used this recipe for years now and have adapted it to fit our needs. It comes from Alton Brown and is really the best recipe I've used for buttermilk pancakes. I like the fact that I can make the mix and store it in a container for up to 3 batches. Probably less if you need to make more than a dozen pancakes. I'm a bit of a pancake snob but when you eat them almost weekly, you want a good tasting cake.

So you start with your mix:

6 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon kosher salt (do not use table salt) 2 tablespoons sugar

Put all of these dry ingrediants into a lidded container and shake really really well. He says it's good for 3 months but it never last that long in our household.

To make a batch of pancakes, you need...

2 eggs 2 cups buttermilk 4 tablespoons melted butter (+ more for the griddle) 2 cups dry mix

Add the dry mix in a separate bowl, put aside.

Mix the wet ingrediants...

In the original recipes, you had to seperate the eggs. I don't do that. I melt the butter in a bowl (make sure it's not too hot). Then I crack the eggs and whisk it right away so they don't scramble. Pour in the buttermilk (my store doesn't carry buttermilk anymore so I just use 2 cups whole milk with a heaping tablespoon of white vinegar. I let it sit on the counter for a bit before adding it to the wet mix. I actually like using this rather than buttermilk.) Mix well.

Pour the wet into the dry. Very important....DO NOT OVERMIX. You will get a dense, tough pancake and those are not tasty. Just run your whisk through it a few times just to get the dry ingrediants incorporated and don't worry if you see flecks of flour.

Now let it sit for 5-10 minutes and prepare your griddle.

I have an electric griddle that has seen better days but it still works so it stays. Preheat to 350 degrees. Once it's warmed up, I run a stick of butter over it, then wipe of the excess with a paper towel.

Now we're ready to cook. Laddle the mix onto the griddle. I didn't think to time how long they take to cook but once you see airbubbles on the cakes, they're ready to flip. You'll see them puff up to perfection as well.

They won't take long after you flip them. Serve right away or put cooked cakes in a warm oven until the whole batch is done. It's nice to sit down and enjoy a good homemade breakfast together. One of those simple moments that yeilds the greatest joy. Of course a side of bacon or sausage makes it that much better. We also prefer maple syrup which I found to be way more affordable when purchased at Costco.

Hope you try and enjoy this recipe as much as we do. :) xot

Currents preview

A peek at what I've been working on. Being a novice at this, it's taking me a wee bit more time than I would have hoped but it's only because I want to give you the best that I can create. I'm hoping to have some Currents paper packs in the shop by the end of this week. They will consist of various 3x4 cards that will fit perfectly in your Project Life book. You'll see some polaroid prints as well as the Currents journaling cards. Stay tuned!


Stretch Your Kit winner!

Kelly Submitted on 2012/01/17 at 9:17 pm i open my kit the very second it is in my hands. thanks, tina, for the chance to win.

Please email me at by Friday Kelly!

Thanks for playing was interesting to read whether you dive right into your kits once they arrive or you let them hang out. For me, it just depends on what kind of mood I'm in at the time. These past few months, I've been anxious to create so I tear into mine asap, especially when I get them right before the weekend. Here's a a sneak from Stepping Stone... This one is my favorite add on for February. The yellow, the sparkle and those stamps...oh those stamps. They just made my top 5 all time favorite SC stamp.

New Dare should be up shortly. Can you believe who's joining us again. After 5 years, Meghan's back in full force. Make sure you stop by the blog and give her a warm welcome. (sidenote: seeing that photo of me makes me think one thing. Damn I'm pale. guess I should look into getting some self tanner.)



time: 11:21 am location: work weather: COLD. 1 degree F. guess it warmed up a bit. eating: chicken + wild rice soup (perfect on this extremely cold day) drinking: water (keeping up on my resolution!) loving: my boys fake smile wondering: if I can make it until 2/15 enjoying: the feeling of lightness on my shoulders (for now) accomplishing: a lot thinking: BIG ...I love this bit I got from Tara Gentile's email this morning... It was time to stop playing small & start playing big: bigger clients, bigger goals, bigger ways of operating, bigger ideas. Small could only serve me for so long.

 Playing big has serious long-term potential. Ok people, the first of many big announcements. I QUIT MY DAY JOB. I know.. that's huge, right? I've been going back and forth on this for awhile now, making sure it was something we could manage financially. We factored in everything. I've got notes and post its everywhere with numbers and lists. The final outcome was to leave my current position. The major factor? Tyler. Would I want to work just to pay for daycare? No. This daily schedule we have now is hard on Jeff and I. He works nights to watch Tyler during the day, then I came home and he's off leaving me alone with Tyler which is fine but it gets lonely and leaves no time for anything else. I found when I was off for more than a few days, things were a lot less stressful on us. Life flowed better, we were all happier not only as a family but as individuals. With Jeff's position, he will most likely be put back on the dayshift which would leave us to put Tyler in daycare. It's not only the cost but a personal preference not to have Tyler go to daycare. Now before you get upset with me thinking I'm opposed to daycare, I'm not. We as parents have to do we what's best for our children and if I have the option to have Tyler at home, then that is the option I'm taking. Plus the cost?! It would pretty much be like having another mortgage payment and that is not an option. The other factors are of course moving forward with LifeLovePaper. My photography business did well last year and with some looming opportunities, it's only going to do better. It comes down to putting everything I have into my business for me to succeed. Not just the weekends. I also have several things I'm working on to get my Etsy shop stocked with goods. There will be some changes here on my blog as you can already see. It's taking some time and learning experience but when I have friends like Jamaica and Liz cheering me on and helping me out, it makes it easier and worth every curse word spat at my laptop and Photoshop.  :) One thing that will change is Currents. It's going to get bigger. I am working on some Project Life cards and a few other items with the Currents theme. I want to invite you to partake in Currents. You can do it weekly, monthly or whenever the moment strikes you. Link back to me not only because I want to know what's currently happening in your part of the world but I want to feature your Currents here! Now go forth and Current it up! xot.

Stretch Your Kit Giveaway

Hey guys! I've got a cool giveaway this Tuesday morning....or afternoon for most of you. :)Studio Calico's second class of 2012 is from the amazing Amy Tan. Man, does she have such a unique style. This class will surely give you the inspiration you need to use your Studio Calico kits to the max!

First, post your comment here for your chance to win a spot in her class. I want to know if you dive straight into your kits when they show up at your doorstep or if they sit around, begging to be opened.

Second, PLEASE come back on Thursday morning, February 19th to see if you were chosen. If I don't hear back from you within 24 hours, I will choose another winner.

Are you ready to jumpstart the way you look at supplies? Tired of letting your kits pile up month after month without touching them? Ready to pull out the tools you have on hand and put them to use? Amy Tan is here to help show you how to see the Studio Calico Main kits in new ways and get those supplies onto your pages. She’s ready to share tips and tricks on making your kit supplies stretch to create beautiful page after page.

Known for her playful and innovative pages, Amy is the perfect teacher to help you stretch your kits. She’ll walk you through ideas for breaking open those brown paper bags and seeing your kits in a fun new way. Amy and Studio Calico kits... what a great combination!

Amy is joined by creative powerhouses Kelly Goree, Celine Navarro, and Jen Jockisch who will all share inspiration for using ONLY the Studio Calico Main kit. You’ll see their process for getting started on a layout, selecting which supplies to pull from the kits, and tips for using their favorite tools and techniques.



PRICE: $30.00

Good Luck! XOT