Monday, December 29, 2008

Flooding in Chicago in December???!!!

Yes, this picture is from our area! I can't believe how crazy the weather has been in Chicago. The first few weeks in December brought us more snow than we've seen in quite a few years, along with the snow we had record low temperatures. The snowfall caused schools and businesses to close the week before Christmas and just when you think it can't possibly snow anymore the temperatures then jumped overnight to 62 degrees a record breaking event for temperature in Chicago "in" December since the mid 1900's. Along with the warm weather came a downpour 1.5" of rain water, add that to almost 20+" of snow accumulation on the ground. What does that equal? Flooding throughout the Chicago area!!

Flooding in Chicago is normal during the late spring and early summer season but in December??

So why am I blogging about this? Because in almost 10yrs I've been at my house other than seepage I've never dealt with flooding UNTIL NOW! It was only a few inches but a few inches throughout the ENTIRE basement and it was sewer water that just sat there for 16 hours before we realized it had flooded. We lost a lot of items we stored in the basement but worse was the mucky cleanup we had to handle after the plumber left. We are now waiting for our insurance to determine what and how much they are going to cover. Our walls look lovely! I can't wait to knock them down. YUCK!
We've lost a lot of items including 3 machines I use for my cards, paper I also use, Mark's prized comics, 2 mattresses but my personal biggest loss was an outdoor fridge I had given Mark for father's day this past summer. I saved up so much to be able to buy it for him since he loves grilling and being outdoors in the summer that hurts me the most! Hopefully, it will be something I'll be able to recover and replace.

Mucky Sewer Water, yuck!
After the water was drained out, the wood panels wall are totally warped!
The epoxy paint came off the floors (I didn't know that could happen)

My rolls of vellum, a total loss!
Mark's comic collection this is one of 3 boxes (they were white boxes)

My little studio is now a temporary storage room for my tools and things I stored in the basement.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A blast from the past!

I had so much fun this past weekend reuniting with some good friends I haven't seen in about 15 yrs. I can't believe how fast time flies, it seems like just yesterday we were hanging out in front of school. We met up with Jessica (birthday girl) at the Filthy Libertine in Chicago. I had not seen Jessica since graduation (1992), the girl hasn't changed a bit! Two old friends Jackie and Mireya were also there, what a great time!! The club closed at 1:30am so from there Cesar took us (Mark, Jackie and yours truly) to one of his cop hangouts. After a couple hours of laughing and catching up on the years we went to grab a bite to eat and finally Mark & I got home at almost 5:30 am!!!
OMG! I can't remember the last time I came home so late, needless to say we weren't drunk but were we TIRED!!!! Thank goodness the kids we at grandma's house because we slept until 11:30! LOL
(Jessica, Jackie, Mireya, me)

(Jackie, me & Mireya)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is harder than it looks...

Okay, I'm still getting used to this blogger thingy. Of course I would decide to start something new right before the holidays and of course as my luck would have it I'm running around like mad woman! LOL

We bought our Christmas tree a 1 1/2 wks ago, I love the smell of it!! The kids surprisingly have been really good about not picking off the needles. Here's a cute pic I took of the 3 of them:
Of course it only took me 15 shot before I got a 1/2 decent pic. LOL

Aside from our tree we've been busy shopping for presents for family, friends and teachers and in the evenings I've been working on my Xmas cards and tags. Last weekend the boys (Mark & Malik) took off to Wisconsin for their Boyscout weekend, Ian slept over grandma's house on Friday night and Nanda and I enjoyed a quiet girls night. Saturday both kids went to grandma's and I enjoyed our yearly Xmas dinner with my dear friends Cesar, Margaret, Mark, Alex, Erin and Vlad. Our yearly Xmas celebration is held at Cafe Lucci in Glenview, IL. We wined and dined our little hearts out and enjoyed catching up.

The boys: Vlad, Alex & Cesar

Margaret & Mark
Alex & Erin

Cesar -aka- the brother I never had

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Friday

What a hectic day!
Going Xmas shopping at the mall is a workout in itself!

Now that the kids are in bed and I've put away the presents I was able to finish my prize give-away.

This is part of a 6 pack that Meghan will be receiving. The card is made out of Cappuccino Metallic Cardstock and the embossed background is made out of Rose Quartz cardstock. The monogram was printed on Opal cardstock in a matching brown tone.

I've got a hectic weekend ahead, a birthday party, more shopping and I'm hoping to start designing for CutCardstock. Wish me luck, I'll be living off these all day tomorrow:

For those of you celebrating Eid on Monday. May you have a Happy Blessed Eid!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And the Winner is.....

Congratulations to Meghan from Meghan's Mindless Muttering.

Meghan has won a personalized stationery set from last weeks Black Friday give-away.

As soon as Meghan picks out her colors I'll post samples of what her cards look like.

Keep an eye out and make sure to follow my blog another give-away will be coming up soon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wow! What a way to start the day!

The main reason I had started this blog was so I could enter a contest through one of my favorite online stores The contest didn't require a blog but I thought having a blog made it more personal/professional. Imagine how I reacted when I read the email that I had won!

WOW!! I will be their guest designer for the month of January but the news doesn't stop there. They will also be sending me merchandise from their store so I can design some more cards for them to showcase during the month of January.

What a way to start off the New Year, right!

Thanks Norma and Cutcardstock! I can't wait to begin designing!

Here's my winning card:

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We had our first official snowfall this season. It's not much but it definitely makes it feel a lot like Christmas. I can't wait til we go get our Christmas tree this week, I love the smell frest cut pine!
We skipped the tree thing last year because Ian and Miranda were too young and I didn't want them ripping off all the ornaments. :)

I've been working away today on my Christmas cards for my family and friends.
I've got to admit I did cheat this year, I went digital. I took a picture of the kids and added a holiday border along with our sentiment. I did layer in onto a coordinating scalloped cardstock though :) Why did I cheat? I have A LOT of cards to send out this year and I ran short of time.

I've also been working on a set of Christmas cards and matching gift tags for my shop.

Well, I'm off to begin dinner. Tonight it's a peppered roast with pasta and asparagus. YUM-O!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back to business

Attached are some cards I just added to my shop. Don't forget to enter my giveaway, just follow my blog or leave me a comment. Winner will be announced on my blog 12/3 and I'll contact you for mailing information.
I'm also have a holiday sale in my shop, check it out.

Miranda's Birthday

Just wanted to share some pictures from my baby's birthday.

We had Miranda's cake made by a local bakery called, "Beautiful Cakes".
The bakery formerly known as, "Cake by Colleen" has over 20 yrs experience serving the Chicago & surrounding suburbs. We picked this year a chocolate cake with raspberry mousse and raspberry preserves. OMG! It was soo delicious! Mark and I also had our wedding cake made there. If you're in the Chicago area and are looking for cake to celebrate a special event please check them out. :)

Make a wish Miranda!!
Cutting the first piece with daddy.
We took about 10 pictures of my 3 goofballs and this is the closet we got to having them all look in the same direction. :)
Look! I'm finally in a picture! :)

Happy Birthday Princess!

A wonderful Thanksgiving

So I'm a little late posting about Thanksgiving, I know. We had such a great time at my in-laws this Thanksgiving. My parents and sister also went with us and we celebrated Miranda's 2nd birthday. We feasted on Turkey, Ham, Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Sauteed Mushrooms, and of course you can't forget the Puerto Rican rice! I mean come'on what kind of holiday would it be without Arroz con Gandules!!

This year as every year I'm thankful for my wonderful family. I'm very fortunate to have the most wonderful man in the world as my husband and 3 wonderful children. I'm so happy we were able to spend this Thanksgiving with both sides of our family. We conversed, played on the Wii (that game system is made for people of ALL ages) and we enjoyed each others company.

After dinner we enjoyed my signature holiday drink, Coquito. It's a Puerto Rican Style Eggnog with a nice KICK! It's a secret recipe that I refuse to share with anyone. :)

The even funnier part is that I'm not Puerto Rican, it's a secret recipe my girlfriends family shared with me years ago. This drink is usually only made for Christmas but I make it for Thanksgiving since it's the only holiday where all of our family is together.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday Sale!!!!

I hope everyone has a plentiful Thanksgiving.

For those of you waking up at the crack of dawn to take advantage of door busters and early morning sales. MORE POWER TO YOU!

Mark and I will also be out at 5am picking up gifts and stuff.

For those of you shopping on the net I invite you to visit my shop and take advantage of a black friday sale.

Friday 11/28 - Sunday 11/30 everything in my store is 20% off (sorry customized items are not included)

Just mention "Gobble-Gobble" during checkout and I'll issue you a refund.

If you'd like a specific number of Christmas cards please mention this during checkout and I will send you a revised paypal invoice reflecting the correct amount and 20% discount.

It gets better!!! Follow me on my blog and enter a chance to win a 6pk of monogrammed notecards. Cards can be monogrammed with an initial or a name, I have several colors to choose from.

Don't let these sale go by, stock up on your christmas greeting cards now!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sneak Attack Today at 3pm (central)

Sneak Attack Happening NOW!!! (through the rest of the day)
Shops: GoodWitchCreations
Product type: JewelryPrice Range: $7 - $17.50 (note: ships everywhere!)Sponsor: Galacards
What's a Sneak Attack? Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announce on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop! Want to join in? I bet you do! Read on...
Below is the current Sneak Attack schedule. To participate, show up on this site at or soon after the time of the next attack and you'll see the chosen shop name. Then go to that shop and purchase an item, making sure to include the words "Sneak Attack" in the "message to seller". The shop owner will also be informed of what is happening so they know just what is going on. Think you're too late for today's attack? Wrong! If the shop name is still up below, please go and make a purchase!
NEW: Send an email to SAlist [at] with the title "Sign me up" to be put on the Sneak Attack mailing list. You'll be contacted a few hours before each Sneak Attack with a friendly reminder.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sniff! Sniff! Cough! Cough!

I'm surrounded by sniffling, coughing toddlers! Of course it would happen right before Thanksgiving. Nanda's got a mild ear infection and a cold and Ian has a cold with that hacking cough. Our doctor says no-no to over the counter medication though so I turned to my mom for a home remedy she used to give us when we were young.

2 Lemons
2 Garlic cloves
4 tsp of honey
Fresh Ginger (small nickel size piece)

Squeeze out the lemon juice into a small saute pan and add the rest of the ingridients. Stir over low flame, as soon as it starts to bubble take off heat.
From this syrupy mix drink a tablespoon every two hours, it must be warm when taken.

Miranda is really good about taking medicine however, Ian is a different story!

Here's another one I got from a fellow twitter:
Very similar as above but it's a tea. Surprisingly, Mr. Ian actually like this one alot!

Fresh Ginger

I squeezed the lemon into water and added some lemon peel for more taste along with a nickel sized piece of ginger. Once it boiled I strained it and added honey.

It's delicious and it soothes your throat from coughing so much.

Thanks Herbanlifestyle!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Miranda's 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday to my baby Miranda!!

We're celebrating her birthday on Thanksgiving with all the grandparents but we couldn't let her special day go by without her opening her big presents.

My parents took Ian and Miranda for a couple hours so we could clear the mess they had in the living room. Malik's best friend Muhammad came over so we put them to work by sorting out the toys while we built her kitchen set.

Before the little ones came back these two "10 yrs olds" decided to try out the kitchen set.
Mark and I laughed our butts off watching them "cook". LOL

Miranda LOVED her new kitchen center, she wasted no time making me coffee and hot dogs.

I can't believe my baby is 2yrs old. Happy Birthday Nandita!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter is officially here in Chicago!

Brrrr! The cold weather hit with force last night, I can't wait til spring!
In the meantime, I'll continue playing with my Blog, there's so much I want to add to it if I can just figure out how to put it all together. :)
Here's two cards I'm entering in a contest. Winner gets to be a guest designer for the month of January and a runner up will win a $20.00 merchandise gift card. As much as I would love to take 1st place, I don't think my blog is interesting enough "yet" so I'm hoping to be a runner up so I can get more goodies to design with.
Wish me luck!
I 'LOVE' this card! It's an A6 and I used patterned paper from scrapperdashery, Jupiter Stardream cardstock, Marvy's Xtra Giga Punch, Sentiment by Penny Black , Cardinal Image by Serendipity Stamps and holiday flourish by Inkadinkado Images were colored with Copic Markers, Ink from SU and glitter from Art Institute Glitter These are A2's using Sapphire Stardream cardstock, the snowflakes were embossed using my trusty cuttlebug on Crystal Stardream cardstock and accented with silver mirri cardstock scalloped with my create-a-cut trimmer, Marvy oval and scallop punches were used for the sentiment and ribbon from May Arts and a little bling from Mark Richards. Sentiment stamp is from Hero Arts, silver ink from colorbox and clear embossing powder from Coloriser

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crazy Weekend!

Thank goodness our craft fair was a success thing past weekend.
We had the awesome vendors and the food we had was BEYOND words!
Our Turkish parents made the best of everything, Gezleme, Baklava, Manti and so many other dishes. I can't pronounce them much less attempt to spell them all but trust me every single dish was beyond delicious! :)
After our fair Mark, the kids and I headed over to our friends Vince's house for a bday party.
Vince turned 37 yrs old, we had a blast reminiscing on the high school days. Ian and Miranda were also on their best behavior, I'm surprised they were still awake at 11:30pm when we left.
Today, I'm taking it easy. I'm so NOT in the mood to do anything, so here I sit attempting to figure out how to enhance my blogspot. Though I have to admit I'm not catching on so I'm going to lean and beg my good friend David to do his techie, geeky magic. :)
You know I luv ya right!

In case you're wondering these adorable snowpeople belong to one of our vendors Dottie. If you're interested in one please let me know so I can give you Dottie's information. I swear they are even more adorable up close. My sister-in-law is going to love the one we bought her, he's wearing a Chicago Bears outfit. I'm sure it'll bring a little bit of home to her new home in Texas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Contest Entry

Hmmm!! My first official post! I'm still testing the waters with the blogging world so please bear with me. Here's a pic I'm considering for a contest I'm entering, I'm still undecided whether this one will be one of two entries.