Saturday, December 31, 2005

Top 5 books of 2005

More in my Top 5 of 2005 roundup...

Books are such an important part of my life and I love to read. I do wish I spent more time reading so perhaps that is a good resolution for the coming year. The majority of what I do read is informational and related to subjects like autism, writing, scrapbooking, or parenting. There is so much to learn from books but I also want to remember to enjoy the pleasure of reading as a leisurely pastime.

It was hard to decide if I should limit this list to books that were actually published in 2005 or ones that I read in 2005. I decided to keep my lists similar in focus and only draw from books actually published in 2005. This made it more challenging since I did not read a lot of new releases. I am not including scrapbook related books on this list because that will come in another entry.

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! There is no question that this was the best book I read all year. I'm still reeling from the plot twists and turns and I'm in denial of the death (and the killer's identity) that happened in this book. I feel that Harry has a special place in my heart and I can't imagine how I will feel when I have finally read the last page of book 7. Will I ever be able to let him go?! I think I will have to reread all 6 books and listen to them on CD. Jim Dale really brings these stories to life for me. I hope JK Rowling has lots of writing time in 2006!

2. Mental Floss Magazine - ok so this technically isn't a book, but this magazine contains some of the best stuff I've read all year! I became a subscriber and ended up giving a subscription to my brother as a Christmas gift. My son who has autism and is highly gifted in the intellectual department redeems his tokens he earns with behavior programs for back issues of this magazine. Love this brain food!

3. The Broker by John Grisham It has been a long time since I've enjoyed a good page turner from John Grisham and I really enjoyed this one. Actually I listened to it as an audio book which was fun because the narrator (Michael Beck) did a fabulous job with the Italian. Usually I prefer the author to read the book for an audio book, but in this case it would have been distracting to hear Grisham's southern drawl. This wasn't as fast paced and intense as his earlier books like The Firm or A Time to Kill, but it was a very pleasurable read.

4. You the Owners Manual Only Oprah could make a book like this into a national bestseller simply by featuring it on her show! This is a manual for the human body but it is written in a witty and conversational style. It is actually fun to read and quite useful.

5. Winning by Jack Welch - now I realize I may lose some of you with this one (especially my mom!) and I'll be the first to agree that Jack is no poster boy for how to live your personal life. However, Jack as a business leader has a lot of wisdom and insight to share. You may find it strange that a mini-van mom who works out of her home as a writer would be interested in a book like this. Well, I guess it is a little odd, but the truth is I gain a lot from reading business books. My husband is constantly studying books like this and when I read along we have a lot to discuss together. Not only about his life in the business world, but about how these principles apply to us as individuals and as a family. Jack's advice on candor has made a big impact in my life this year and has brought me more happiness as a result. That alone secured this book a spot in my top 5.

Need a prompt to remember what you read in 2005? Try looking through the best of 2005 section.

It is an interesting exercise to go through. What I learned is that I didn't enough of the new "stuff" out there and too much of my time was focused on research type reading. Often reviewing the past tells us what we should do in the future!

Happy Reviewing!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Friday, December 30, 2005

Top 5 movies of 2005

You will be seeing a layout about my top 5 picks soon. Working out your journaling before you do a layout is one of the great benefits of having a blog. I want to record my favorites for this past year and I'm not sure yet if I will include all of them on an actual layout or not, but I will at least have blogged about them.

I will start with movies on this post and will be adding more soon.

Top 5 movies of 2005:

I limited my choices here to movies that were released in 2005 that I actually saw. This limits the field quite a bit since I don't see that many movies.

1. Batman Begins was the surprise favorite of the year for me in new releases. I'm not really a Batman fan, and I don't like intense and violent movies so this is kind of an unusual pick for me. I went on a date with my hubby to see this on an IMAX screen so maybe that helped push it to my #1 pick! It was a great movie with a lot of action and excitement. I loved the actor who played Batman and I like the overall theme and message of the story. My only complaint was who cast Katie Holmes as leading lady? I don't get what the big deal is about her and I found her to be a distraction in the film.

2. March of the Penguins - I saw this one in the theater with my husband and kids and we all enjoyed it. I gained a total respect for Emperor Penguins, especially the Dad penguins! I could also listen to Morgan Freeman narrate anything so I'm glad it was his voice that told this amazing story.

3. Chicken Little this one has a great soundtrack! Saw this one with the hubby and kids also and I really liked it. It was quite original and a lot of fun!

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I took my kids to the first showing of this on the first day it was released. They were soooo excited and I'm always up for some Johnny Depp! This movie is so funky and weird that you will either love it or hate it. I thought it was loads of fun and I liked that it was more true to the book than the 1970's version (which I never really cared for all that much anyway.) Beware though - this is Tim Burton unleashed in all his glory. The guy has some serious "issues" but it makes for some amazing art!

5. King Kong made most of the critics top lists for the year and it is a good movie. A faithful remake that is too long and too cliche in parts, but man is that monkey awesome! A great love story! I saw this one with my husband and my Dad who was in town for Christmas. We decided at the last minute to go to a 9:00 p.m. show and have my mom tend the kids. I had no idea it was a 3 hour movie when I agreed to this and when I found out I was worried I wouldn't be able to stay awake. No problem with that though - the movie is extremely intense!

There were other movies I saw in 2005 that didn't make my top 5 list for various reasons:
Robots (cute, but just ok)
Wallace & Gromit (my son got sick halfway through it so we had to leave)
Sky High (cute but predictable)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (good movie and I really considered putting this one on the list, but didn't live up to my expectations and I didn't like it as much as the other Harry Potter movies)

I wanted to see Corpse Bride and Valiant but never got around to either one.

Trying to remember what movies you saw in 2005? Check out this website for a journaling prompt. Include movies you liked and disliked. What do you wish you would have seen?

Remember to scrap about the little details of 2005 for a meaningful layout.

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


I'm back and I'm backed up, loaded up, and psyched out!

Christmas was an amazing experience this year for me and my family. We had 9 people in our 3 bedroom house so it was more than a little cozy, but also very memorable and fun! Look for pictures, layouts, and other details to come soon.

I enjoyed my little break from scrapbooking, blogging, writing, and all other typical daily activities in my life. Now I'm ready to go again and feeling refreshed and energized!

Backed up...

all digital kits,layouts, and pictures to DVDs (so much more room on these than on cds!) Also uploaded all pictures to Sony Image Station and all layout to 2Peas. Backed up my financial files from Quicken and all my word documents as well.

Loaded up...

on all sorts of good scrapbooking related things! I have a pile of unread scrapbooking magazines that I have been neglecting since late October. Issues of Scrapbooks etc, Memory Makers,Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Paperkuts, Scrapbook Trends,and Scrapbook Answers are all waiting for me to find some spare time!

I also received some great idea books as Christmas gifts I'm especially excited about Stacy Julian's Big Picture, Digital Designs for Scrapbooking, & Designing with Digital.

I have a lot of reading to do!!!

I'm also loaded up on digital scrapbooking goodies. My mom gave me a 2 CD Jen Wilson set called Seasonal Scraps. Even though Jen Wilson has her own site now, this cd is only available at Scrapbook Bytes.

My mother-in-law gave me money this year so I treated myself to a few more digital goodies. Want to take a peek at what I bought? Well, here is my virtual shopping bag full of stuff:

Some Jen Wilson sale items - she is putting different items on sale right now each day. I purchased all of these neat paper packs for only .88 cents each!

Then I picked up this cute Christmas set from Dani on sale for 50% off - this is a great time of year to shop!

Holly McCaig's stuff is also 50% off at The Digi Chick - by the way, did you know she sold The Digi Chick to Laura Alpuche? Congrats to Laura! - If you visit her blog you will find a neat freebie!

Finally, this one wasn't on sale and it is probably the most I have ever paid for a single kit, but I HAD to have it! It really is a steal anyway at $7.00 because I will use this one for many different pages. Kind of funny how people complain about prices of digital when they are soooooo much more reasonable than traditional scrapbook supplies AND you can use them more than once. As a designer myself, I can tell you that a kit like this takes a lot of talent and time to create so I have no problem paying for it. I think we all have been a little spoiled by the many wonderful freebies out there.

Isn't this kit by Kathryn Balint just gorgeous?!

Can you see why I'm psyched out to start scrapping again? Plus, I've got some great stuff in store for you in just a few days (hint - freebie and new kit coming!) so stay tuned.

Hope you take the time to back up, load up, and get excited to scrap in 2006.
Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady

my other blogs will be back on January 1st


Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Presents and Presence

So everything is wrapped and ready to go. I always splurge on nice wrapping paper and bows at Christmas. I start putting my presents out the day that the tree is up. To me, they are part of the decorations.

I'm enjoying a house full of family and also this magical time of year. That is something I want to be PRESENT for. Which is why I am going to excuse myself from any new blog entries until about the 29th or 30th of December.

Then I plan to do some year in review posts and I also have some great stuff up for January. You will want to visit me around the first of the year for a new freebie and some new kits also!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


other blogs


Seeing the lights

We went to see the lights at Temple Square last night. They were beautiful even in the rain!

Isn't this just amazing?!

The rain actually made for some neat pictures - this one is of the ground and you can see the lights reflected.

Hope you get to see some pretty lights somewhere!

Happy Holidays!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady

other blogs


Winding up the holiday preparations...

I've had some great comments on my posts of decorations here. These are a few of the kind responses I have received:

I loooove the snowman, especially his eyes, too cute! Some of my favs are kiddo made as well!

You are TOTALLY right on the handmade-by-my-kids ornament thing!

Hi there, i surfed on in thru 2 Peas ... and i just wanted to say WOW At all the christmas photos you have up. I just LOVE all your ornaments! They all look so awesome:)

I'm so glad that my pictures are being enjoyed by so many. It has really made my holiday season special this year to photograph and document the "little" things that mean so much to me.

I will post a few more of my decorations and pictures of holiday displays:

Happy Holidays!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady

other blogs


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The best ornaments are made by your kids!

I've posted a lot of pictures of ornaments and decorations here on my blog. They are all special in their own way. Still my favorites are the ones my kids have made for me!

Hope you are all so lucky to have handmade treasures hanging on your tree!

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady

other blogs


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time...

This was another favorite tree at the festival of trees, mainly because I liked the overall message. I have made a real commitment this year to enjoy the time of this season. Also, I'm trying to be careful in how I balance my time.

For the lyrics to the Paul McCartney song be sure to visit my quote blog today.

Are you having a wonderful Christmas time? Take the time to stop and enjoy the season and take pictures too!

Happy Holiday Time!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Friday, December 16, 2005

more decorations

I was worrying about if I am boring everyone with so many pictures of decorations so I was glad to get this comment on my blog today:

"Beautiful Decorations. I love seeing how others trees are decorated."

I'm so glad that my pictures are being enjoyed!

Here are some amazing gingerbread houses from the Festival of Trees to inspire you.

Pretty amazing aren't they?

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Thursday, December 15, 2005

My ornament collection

porcelin jingle bells - another purchase from my college days. I remember when I showed my mom she made a comment to the effect of "how impractical! You won't be able to hang those up when you have kids." I'm pleased to say that the porcelin jingle bells have made it through 2 kids (both of them got into everything!) and 6 moves and not one has broken. When I look back though, I can totally see her point! :)

Fancy gold stars bought on 75% off clearance last January at Pier 1 imports.

Hand painted ceramic santa ornaments. Another favor from one of my husband's Christmas work parties. I love that they give us each an ornament every year.

another work party favor. This one is a decorated ball ornament from Costco.

It dawned on me last night how glad I will be to have this documentation of my decorations. By about October I am usually struggling to remember what I already have and if I need to add any thing else to the mix. Now I can go through my pictures instead of rumaging through boxes!

Be sure to document (and enjoy) the process of decorating this year!

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Odds and Ends in the land of blog

I'm so glad that someone posted a comment on here to let me know about Whitney Bushman's new site Jumbo Cave Man (great name!) Be sure to check out the freebies there!

Digigrandma posted a thread about me on 2Peas because I reached my 1000th post last night! How sweet is that?!

I found site meter yesterday because of this thread at 2Peas (scary!) - what a cool tool this is and it's free! I have been able to get info like this about my website but I have to admit I was wondering how many people really were visiting my blog? It has only been tracking for a day now and I have had visitors from Okinawa Japan, Berlin Germany, Canon City Colorado, Bethesda Maryland, Albuquerque New Mexico, Hershey Pennsylvania, Vienna Austria Labuan Malaysia, Saskatchewan Canada, Queensland Australia, Arlington Virginia, Abilene, Texas & a whole lot more! It is so fun to see where my visitors are coming from! One of the things I love about scrapbooking is that it appeals to people EVERYWHERE! Makes the world feel a little smaller and happier!

I also found a great RSS reader because of this thread on 2Peas called RSS bandit. It is free and actually pretty easy to install and figure out (unlike some of the other RSS readers I have looked at!) I put my favorite blogs on it and deleted a lot of the preloaded links it came with for news & comics. I am pretty choosy about where I get my news from and there is no way I would ever read that many different news sources anyway. I hope if you use an RSS reader you will be sure to put me on it!

So just a few things about blogging... I promise to get back to my Christmas posts now!

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Digital Freebies Update

LOTS of great freebies out there right now...especially in the Christmas theme!

Love these Christmas Doodles from the Creative Team at Digital Design Essentials!

Jasbeanie has a fun set of Jolly Christmas Papers on her blog.

AMS digi scraps is offering some cute Christmas digi stamps.

Just discovered this site today - Digital Scrapbooking Freebies - lots of goodies!

Happy Downloading!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - Where's Katie?

The theme this month on Self Portrait Tuesday is reflective surfaces.

I decided to dig out this picture from Christmas 2004. I didn't realize I had included myself in the picture until I uploaded them onto my computer later on that evening. Can you find me?

Do you have any pictures that have reflections? They tell an interesting story!

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Sunday, December 11, 2005

teddy bears taking pictures!

My daughter went to the Festival of Trees wearing her Santa hat and full of Christmas spirit! She kept pointing out trees and displays that she wanted me to take pictures of. When she saw this one she started laughing and said "Mom, that bear with the camera is just like you!"

Of course sometimes the camera just makes people act silly!

Are you the type with a camera always in your hand? Or does the camera make you get silly? Make sure you are on both sides of the camera this holiday season!

Happy Picture Taking!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady


Saturday, December 10, 2005

more Christmas trees...

more from the Festival of Trees:

Bright, cheery colors and huge ornaments made this tree spectacular!

Willy Wonka tree. This one came with lots of themed items from the 1970's movie. I love the giant blue ornaments with the belt around them for Violet!

Speaking of candy...this was one of my favorites! Great big gumdrop lights and lots of yummy looking decorations.

I have always thought it would be fun to do a candy theme tree. Maybe someday I will!

Happy Scrapping!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady