Thursday, December 22, 2011

We’ve Been A Little Busy!

Whoa!  I have slacked off on blogging but I have continued with my December Daily album.  It is so much fun to work on this project through out the month.

Last week we had a surprise from JG!  He called me last Wednesday at dinner time and told me he was going to try and catch a plane home that night.  Well, he did and we headed to Ramstein early Thursday morning to pick him up! 

DD 15

I didn’t tell them we were going to pick up JG because I wanted to surprise them and they were beyond excited to see him!  They really, really missed their Daddy this time around and it is so nice to have him home safe and a bit early, too!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Beginnings of My December Daily Album…

***If you are here following along with the blog hop please scroll down to the next post.***

December has rolled in a bit quicker than I thought it would!  I will admit that while I don’t have all of my December Daily foundation pages complete I am about halfway through the month.  I hope to get the rest squared away this week.

This year I will not be printing my photos daily or even weekly but will wait until the end of the month and place my order through Shutterfly.  I love their print quality and the quick turn around.  Since I will have my pages ready and journaling complete I will just have to add the photos once they arrive.

My photo for December 1st is of the girls opening their Haribo advent calendar.  This year is a little bittersweet as it is our last year here in Germany.  There are some things we will miss and the Haribo calendars have become a tradition for us. 


This was about take 5 and the reindeer antlers were their idea!  I rarely get a photo with them both looking at the camera and this was just not my day.

Here is the foundation page for the photo:

DD Foundation 1 2011

Because I didn’t leave any room for journaling I will be adding a journaler by Ali Edwards that I purchased from Designer Digitals last year.  I like to add these when I am feeling long winded or want some extra space for photos. 

My December 2nd photo is of my favorite mug filled with glühwein in front of the Christmas tree.  I like Christmas tree bokeh! 

DD 2

And my foundation page for the day is this:

Dec Foundation Page 2

The colors are off a bit in this one as the background is more of a pinkish color.  I am using Crate Papers Peppermint Collection for most of my album this year and I was having a bit of a hard time with it but have come to love the feel of it all.  The snowflakes are from the Peppermint Collection as well.  I had a hard time photographing the first set of pages as it has been super foggy here nearly every day and that means no morning sun for my photos. 

That’s all I have for now.  I hope to continue my December Daily updates every few days.  I always have good intentions of sharing my pages but never get around to doing so but will make a honest effort at posting them  here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Handmade Holiday Blog Hop

Hello there!  Today I am joining many fabulous ladies who have created a little bit of holiday magic using our paper crafting suppliesto share with you. If you are following along with the blog hop you should have arrived here from Jennifer’s blog.  If you are just checking in on my blog or are a little bit lost and want to start from the beginning of the blog hop, visit Amanda’s blog to get back on track.

I made a small little 4x5 inch canvas board into a small bit of décor.  This is an idea that I originally picked up from the Crap I’ve Made blog.  Here is a quick run down of how I put this together.

Christmas Tree Canvas Supplies

You’ll need a canvas or other background of choice, scraps of papers, Mod Podge, acrylic paint and a piece of contact paper.
I cut all my pieces of paper into 1”x1” squares and used a layer of Mod Podge to adhere them to the canvas.  Once you have your canvas covered with the scraps rub over it with a brayer or something similar to make sure the papers are firmly adhered.  Let it dry for a few minutes while you cut your desired shape.  I have found that a piece of contact paper makes a fantastic little stencil and it cuts nicely when I use my Cricut.  I cut a tree from the Winter Frolic cartridge for this project.  Add the cut shape to the papers and smooth out any wrinkles and ensure you have the contact paper adhered completely.  Add a thin layer of acrylic paint and let it dry.  If you want to add another for better coverage go ahead.  I like to see the other papers peeking through a bit.  While the paint is just a little tacky carefully lift the contact paper off the papers and let the paint dry completely.
I added some Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type stickers at the bottom and outlined the tree with a Sharpie to help it stand out.  I then added a thin coat of Mod Podge to seal it.  While it was still wet I added some gems to finish it off.  Now since my edges were all uneven I added some fantastic tinsel ribbon with some hot glue to cover them up.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!  The next stop on the blog hop is Adele’s blog.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Plitvice Lakes National Park

We left Zadar and headed inland about 2 hours to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.  The park is well known for its terraced lakes, clear water and numerous waterfalls and was Croatia’s first national park as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

We arrived mid-afternoon in June so we had plenty of daylight left to make our way through the park.  The boardwalk paths make their way over beautiful blue green water that is so clear you can see hundreds of fish.  Since we arrived later in the day we were able to miss most of the crowds and did not feel rushed along.

This first photo is the view as you begin the decent down to the lakes and the main trail.

Croatia Plitvice Lakes 3Croatia Plitvice Lakes 5Croatia Plitvice Lakes 7Croatia Plitvice Lakes 9Croatia Plitvice Lakes 13Croatia Plitvice Lakes 18Croatia Plitvice Lakes 20Croatia Plitvice Lakes 22

This last photo is another view from up above as we made our way back to the park exit.  We enjoyed our time here and I was super excited to shoot some waterfalls.  It was a long walk through and our girls were real troopers and made it the whole way without any issues. 

We stayed nearby the park in small but very nice room at the Apartments Plitvicer Seen.  It was modern and the owner was nice.  We ate breakfast out by the pool before we headed north to Austria.  Since I am such a dork I was excited to get a stamp in my passport before we left Croatia and back into Slovenia!  Since the countries who have joined the EU have open borders the border crossing stations sit vacant so we never have to show our passports as we travel between those countries. 

We drove straight through Slovenia and into Austria to we could visit the Lipzzaner Stud Farm in Piber.  This is the where the famous stallions from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna are born.  I may have been more excited to visit here than the girls!  We arrived about 90 minutes before they closed for the day and were able to wander around.  We walked through a small museum and watched the horses being brought in from the fields for the night. 

Piber 1Piber 2Piber 6Piber 11Piber 9Piber 10

This mare was very friendly and I spent a lot of time rubbing her nose and she became a willing subject for my photos. 

The next day we drove to Graz so JG could visit the Landeszeughaus.  He needed some manly time after hanging out with the Gibson girls for the entire vacation and really enjoyed his time walking through 4 floors of this Styrian Armoury.  The entire place was nothing but old weapons and suits of armor.  Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos while we were in there.   If you are interested in seeing some photos though just click on the hyperlink above and it will take you directly to the website for more information.

This finally wraps up our trip through Slovenia, Croatia and a quick stop in Austria.  It was really a vacation of a lifetime for me.  I loved every single place we visited and the drive along the Adriatic Sea was breathtaking.  I was happy to be home again but sad to have our amazing vacation come to an end.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sibenik, Croatia

Here is another day of our Croatian vacation.  We drove down the coast from Zadar to Sibenik.  This was a lovely town with a very unique UNESCO Heritage Site.  The St. Jacob’s Cathedral has a frieze of 74 faces around the outside.  We were not permitted to take photos inside but the interior was smaller than I anticipated based on the outside.  It was beautiful and simple very much unlike the detailed exterior. 

Croatia Sibenik 4

Croatia Sibenik 6

Croatia Sibenik 11

After we left the cathedral we wandered around the town and it was so beautiful.  It had narrow alley’s with tall stone buildings.  There was lots of climbing as we made our way up the hillside.  This town had so much of an old world feel to it.  There were not a lot of people wandering about and I loved the slower pace compared to Zadar.   

Croatia Sibenik 14

Croatia Sibenik 16

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Croatia Sibenik 22

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Croatia Sibenik 24

Sibenik is a little gem along the Dalmatian Coast and I am glad we spent some time here.  If you are ever traveling near here it is well worth a visit. 

This was our last day along the Adriatic Sea and I tried to savor it.  I cannot believe how much I feel in love with this region!  It was truly an amazing vacation that will probably not be topped (sorry JG!).

I had no intention of dragging my Croatia blog posts out but life gets in the way.  I was reading a blog post recently by Stacy Julian and she mentioned that the longer you are away from your blog the easier it is to stay away and that really is true!  I will write up my posts from Plitvace National Park and the Lipzzaner Stud Farm and set them to auto post. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our travels.  I enjoy reading the comments and if you have any questions about our travels please feel free to ask.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crochet Love!

Pinterest has really renewed my interest in crochet!  I love all the fantastic projects that have been shared on there and thanks to a few helpful You Tube videos I have managed to make 2 blankets and have a 3rd in the works.  I am sure JG is shaking his head because he thinks I don't need another hobby about now.

Aubrey wanted a rainbow blanket so I went to the store and picked up some basic colors and got to work.  After what seemed like forever, especially to a 4 year old, I finished it.  I told Aubrey I was going to keep it because I loved it so much but she was having none of that  :-) 

Crochet Rainbow Blanket

Crochet Rainbow Blanket 2

In a few weeks I will be participating in another blog hop just in time for the holidays!  I have an idea in mind but just need to put it in action.  I also need to finish up my Christmas cards as I am really making them this year, or most of them anyways.   I have about 10 more to make and I have been putting it off.  Oh, and I need to get my butt moving on my December Daily foundation pages as well.  I have all the supplies and just need to sit and get going on it. 

Do you have any projects you have been procrastinating on?  Please tell me that I am not alone here. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I never tire of this photo!  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Even though this photo was taken 5 or 6 years ago, I am sure my cat hasn’t forgiven me yet.  I giggle hysterically every time I look at this!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Did This Happen?


What?  You mean my girls are supposed to grow up?  I didn’t get that memo!

Halloween 09-1

This photo was taken just 2 years ago.  Aubrey was 2.5 years old and Lolo was 18 months.  Heck, Lolo’s hair was still too short to pull into a barrette or pig tails.

The only similarity between then and now is that JG is deployed…again!  Other than that I now have 2 little ladies now who are very excited about Halloween, they have been practicing “trick or treating” for the past year and had opinions about their costumes this time around. 

Halloween 2011 Aub and Pumpkin

Halloween 2011 Lolo and Pumpkin

I love watching my babies grow into beautiful little girls but I swear it was just yesterday I was holding newborns.  Next year I will be sending Aubrey off to kindergarten.  I can vaguely remember what life was like before they were born but I don’t think I was as happy or fulfilled as I am now that I am their mommy. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zadar, Croatia

I was looking back at my blog posts and I cannot believe I didn’t finish blogging our trip to Croatia in June.  It was by far the best trip we have taken in the 3 years we have lived in Europe!  I loved everything! 
The third place we visited was Zadar, located on the northern end of the Dalmatian Coast.  We spent 3 nights here and stayed at the Villa Valentina.  The hostess, Anna, was so nice and helpful and the rooms were comfortable.  I would highly recommend anyone planning a trip to Zadar to look here first!
The city is very easy to walk around and the old town is on a peninsula with a wall around part of it.  I really enjoyed the relaxed feel of the city.  We wandered around and admired the simple beauty.
Croatia Zadar 1
Croatia Zadar 5
Kiwi growing at our hotel!  There were fruit trees all over.
Croatia Zadar 6
Croatia Zadar 8
Croatia Zadar 13
Zadar has an amazing Sea Organ!  These rectangular holes are along the steps so you can sit and listen to the “sea play music”.  That was Aubrey’s favorite part of the city.
Croatia Zadar 15
Croatia Zadar 17
We climbed many stairs to the top of this tower and were rewarded with beautiful views of the city, Adriatic Sea and surrounding islands.
Croatia Zadar 24
Croatia Zadar 27
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Croatia Zadar 42
Enjoying the last bit of daylight while listening to the Sea Organ on the steps.   The waves were so beautiful as they rolled in.
Croatia Zadar 44
This is Salutations to the Sun, designed by the same gentleman who created the Sea Organ.  During the day it is a giant solar panel and at night it lights up and changes colors according to the waves!  It was pretty amazing!
Croatia Zadar 45
Croatia Zadar 48

I know I mentioned before how excited I was for this trip and I was not disappointed!  I loved, loved, loved this country!  The food was delicious, the scenery was gorgeous and the people were so friendly.  I still have two more locations in Croatia to share. 
Thanks for stopping by and joining me in this virtual tour of Croatian vacation!