Happy 2013!

So many incredible things to look forward to in 2013!!!  I hope your new year finds you enthusiastic and ready for all things new and fresh and wonderful.  Isn’t it amazing how a new year can inspire and impassion one with excitement and renewal.  I feel so refreshed and ready to take on the world.

So with that said, I chose my One Little Word (OLW) for this year  >> CHANGE.

I was inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s saying “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  I’m going to start small with a few things I want to change about myself and about my home(life).  Small things, mostly mindset, but change nonetheless.

So what’s your word?  Where are you going in 2013?  What are your plans to make this year EPIC?  

Until next time….  xo ~ Amy

Making a dream become reality…

For many many years I have been a photography addict, nut, fanatic, and, as my kids would tell you, psycho (LOL), whatever you want to call it…  it’s ME!!!  So I decided to make it official and launch my photography biz this year.  I’ve been shooting for people and money, unofficially, for years.  This year, I took that step.  I hope you’ll follow me on this journey.  Please LIKE my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and visit my website and blog.  You can find me here.  It’s a little nerve wrecking and so forth… but I am so very passionate about it, I can barely stand myself!  So wish me luck!

On another note, this random Wednesday afternoon, I thought I would share 5 random things about me… as if anyone actually cared… pffttt!!!  LOL!

1.  I am a vegan.  Yup, you heard it.  I’ve been this way for a long time now.  I wish there was a vegan restaurant around here.  That is the only difficult part of being vegan.  It’s very hard to eat out anywhere.  And this, coupled with …

2.  I am a germophobe (sp?)  Sorry, not sure I spelled it right.  So eating out, hard anyway.  I wash my hands a gazillion times a day.  I wash and rewash utensils and plates and anything that will touch my food.  I was, scrub actually, my food before I eat it.  Yeah, it’s a sickness.  I never touch things like doorbells, or elevator call buttons, or door handles.  I always use a kleenex, or shirtsleeve, or something.  Germs… ick!

3.  I am a Canon girl through and through.  And I still LOVE my original DSLR, the Canon XT.  I still use it sometimes.  I have always loved the images and especially the colors of the images… even more than my 7d.  Shhh… don’t tell anyone.

4.  I love scrapbooking.  However, I’ve become a hoarder, not a user.  Sad but true.  I have good intentions, but life gets in the way.  Ha!  I vow to try to create at least 10 layouts before school is back in session.

5.  My house is a mess.  Seriously, I thought when the boys were out on their own my house would be immaculate.  Big Fat Wrong!  I don’t know where the time goes.  I just can’t get it all clean.  And, I really really really need to purge.  But, I am honestly, too lazy to work on it.  There.  I said it.  I am too lazy to really give each room a thorough going through.  Maybe….  Nah………..

So there you have it.  Randomness.

Catch ya later.  Thanks for stopping by today!  ~ Amy Tara ~

Happy birthday to my middle-most…

LOVE this boy!!! He is such an amazing young man. And today, he turns 21! WOWser’s…. for 21 years I have nurtured and watched this boy grow into the loving and adorable young man that he is. In some respects it seems like just yesterday I was cuddling with my newborn son and dreaming of the life that was about to unfold. And here we are today, adoring him just as much…. probably even more, and so proud of the man he has become. A very happy birthday to you, my sweet son. Love, mommy xoxo
Phillip at 21

Time flies…

All I can say is… wow! I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. I’ve been so very busy. It’s been super crazy in my life. Good crazy and bad crazy. My dad has been so sick since, literally, day one of this year. Finally, he is in a nursing home and out of the hospital. It’s a long tough road he’s on. I’m hopeful he’ll be pulling through. Last week it was his 80th birthday. The boys all came home and we celebrated (if you can call it that) in the hospital with dad. Not the party we had intended; that’s for sure. I don’t even know if he remembers it. Getting old really sucks.
I haven’t done much scrapping for myself. I’ve been making samples for Embellish It! Shelby certainly keeps me busy. I’m not really loving most of the new stuff from the January CHA release, at least the products that I’ve been working with for her business. I do love (LOVE) the new boy line from Echo Park called This n That. It’s got teal, gray, yellow, and brown in the collection. The patterns are wonderful, as are the embellies. Totally loving this collection. By far, it’s my favorite product release from CHA., of all the manufacturers. I also worked with Basic Grey’s Plumeria, which I love, too.
I used some October Afternoon products to create the following layout about my birthday. I got a remote trigger for my camera and I did a little photoshoot of myself with birthday balloons. It was so much fun. I scrapped a few of the photos. My layout inspiration came from something I found on Pinterest (a huge addiction and inspiration place). I don’t know who to give a photo credit to, so if this is your photo fro Pinterest, I apologize. Let me know and I will give you credit.
Inspiration piece:
Inspiration piece from Pinterest
Don’t you just love the layout design and the color palette?! That is what inspired me to create this:
50th birthday layout
I made the pinwheels using my Martha Stewart scoring board. Love that thing! The flower additions in the centers are from JBS Mercantile. The rest is pretty much all from OA’s Farmhouse collection… one of my all-time favorites of OA products.
So, that’s it. Stay tuned for some exciting news coming up in the next few weeks. I’ll give you a hint, it has to do with a camera. HA! Like there’s a surprise. LOL!
I’m off to have lunch with my sweet friend Vernestine and her lovely daughter, Stefanie. Stefanie is pregnant and due right around Logan’s birthday. She asked me and Jay to be the baby’s godparents. Can’t wait! It’s been so long since we’ve had babies around here…. I’m soooo looking forward to this! And honored!!!
Happy Thursday! I hope your day is sensational! Thanks for stopping by! xo ~Amy Tara~

Get your GAME ON!!!

Webster’s Pages newest collection reveal, GAME ON, is an incredible array of masculine products with rich colors and fabulous designs. I cannot wait to get this collection in my hands! I must have every single little bit of it. What I love most about the collection is that it can be used for boys of all ages, from itty bitty baby boys to grown men. I love that it can be used for a variety of themes, not just sports. At first glance I see July 4th pages, camping pages, travel pages, and school pages. Versatility is key with Webster’s Pages (all of their collections). I always find they work across a broad spectrum of themes. So without further ado, here are some of the collection images (which I swiped from their blog):

If you have time, stop by the Webster’s Pages blog for a look at this exciting new collection and the other new collections, too (Palm Beach is to die for!)
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a magnificent Monday! Namaste ~Amy Tara~

It’s CHA time…

So, I love surfing the net this time of year, looking at all the new goodies being introduced in the paper crafting industry. Of course, I have my favorite companies whose products I just can’t wait to see, purchase, and use. Without a doubt, Webster’s Pages never disappoints me. They are one of my two “go to” products (the other being BG, of course!). This time around is no exception. Brandin just posted some sneaks of two of the new collections, Palm Beach and Game On. I am in heaven! Palm Beach reminds me of Lily Pulitzer… my fave clothing manufacturer. And Game On… well, lets just say it has “masculine/boy” written all over it. It’s perfect for this mother of three college/early twenties age boys. Oh yeah, I feel like Brandin created these two lines specifically for me! How’s that for knowing your customers! Here are the peeks, which I got from the Websterspages.com website.

Webster's Pages Palm Beach Collection

Webster's Pages Game On Collection

I truly can’t wait to get these collections. I have photos in mind, already, that are perfect for these! Yes, my heart is doing the happy dance.
Thanks for stopping by today! I hope your day is lovely and amazing! Namaste ~Amy Tara~

Yeah… so… half a century…

Yup, it’s that special day in my life… ’nuff said.
Not freaking out as much as much as I thought I would.
But still freaking out… can’t believe it. I don’t “feel” it. Still feel 20.

Me, a few weeks before the 1/2 century mark

A huge milestone.
A huge moment to take a breath and look forward to the next half century.
I’m going to wear my special hat today and celebrate with my students.
Hope you have a great day, too! Namaste ~ Amy Tara~

New me!

A new me, a new perspective, everything FRESH this year. This is my motto. FRESH. A FRESH outlook in all aspects of my life. You know the old saying — you can’t keep doing the same old thing, the same old way, and expect different results. So, FRESH is where I’m at. And in keeping with that, I got my haircut. I got a good 7 or so inches cut off. I went with a shoulder length bob. I’m still getting used to it. I think it should actually be just a tad shorter. I may go back and have Thomas (my awesome hairdresser) trim it up a bit. I’ll post pix once I get a chance to.
My dad has been in the hospital. He got very ill on New Year’s day. He had emergency gall bladder surgery on Tuesday. That type of surgery normally isn’t a huge deal, for a healthy person. But, dad is paralyzed on his left side and has a whole host of health issues so it is a very difficult surgery and recovery for him. Heck, the paralysis made it difficult for him to breathe on his own for a while… it was touch and go and we thought we might even lose him because of it. And he is extremely weak. And he has infections. So with that said, we are hoping that now he is on a better path, slowly getting stronger, and will go to a rehabilitation center for a about a month in order to help his recovery, get stronger and help him to be able to transfer from bed to wheelchair etc.. It’s a long road, but he can do it. He is a fighter, that’s for sure. Poor guy has gone through so much. My heart aches for him. I love my daddy so very much!
On a good note, my desk is done and I am working on setting up the rest of the space in the loft. I am so loving how it is turning out. I’ll post pix as soon as I have it completed.
Also, we listed our house for sale. Bittersweet. We love the house but hate the neighborhood. Many reasons, too many to go into. And the house is so big – with the boys essentially gone, we really don’t need this much space. So officially the house will hit the mls on the 17th. We are purging and getting it ready for showing between now and then. Wish us luck. We really want to get out of here!
Finally, this is a big week for me. Big birthday coming up on Wednesday. I have mixed feelings about it. More to come later.
Thanks for stopping by today! xoxo ~ Amy Tara~

First of many…

Along with a FRESH start and a FRESH mindset… a FRESH photo. Our first of 2012. Not the best, granted, but the first one anyway. We went to the beach yesterday only to find that where we wanted to go was closed. So we went to an alternate beach only to find it was super crowded. We tried to find an out of the way place to snap a few pix and by the time we got all set up etc., the sun was fading fast. So, not ideal conditions and so forth… but it is FRESH… the first new one of the year. So I’ll take it!

Jan. 1 photo at Coral Cove beach

Yeah, I messed with it a bit in elements. Just playing.
Today, I am finishing painting my new desk (goodwill find for 20 bucks!) and setting up my shelves. The loft is my January project. I need to get control of the clutter. The desk and shelves are the start. I decided that this year I am working on one room per month. January is loft month. I plan to organize and de-clutter every room of the house by the end of this year. I am going to be ruthless in my assessment of items to keep/toss. My desk is the start… you know, FRESH! Jay snapped this pix of me painting it (it was a dark brown stain, I love white, no, I CRAVE white!)

Painting my desk

So there you have it… a FRESH and productive beginning of 2012.
One more item of mention… Davinie posted a challenge over at Studio Calico. She suggests writing a letter to yourself that you would open and read on the last day of 2012. I plan to do this sometime today. I’m going to focus on my word for 2012 and how I plan or envision that word facilitating my goals and hopes for this year. I will put it in a layout and read it at the end of this year. I feel this will inspire me in several ways, not the least of which will be to help me sift through and actually have a heart-to-heart with myself about what this year will encompass. I challenge you to do the same… write a letter to yourself, today, and read it on 12-31-12.
I hope you have a spectacular January 2nd! Namaste ~ Amy Tara