c is for 'coming soon'

going in circles

There was something that always bothered me about the way my blog had been set up for the last year or so (main column in the center with two side bars on either side). At Mom 2.0 Summit, Kirtsy's Laurie Smithwick, a graphic designer herself, pointed out that she considered that particular set up lacking. As she put it, it defies all rules of hierarchy. She finally put into words what was bugging me. So, if you've visited within the last few days you may have caught me in the middle of messing with my blog template (still not done!).

Let me be clear. This isn't all to say that all blogs with side columns on either side of the center column should be redone immediately. I had it set up that way for a very long time. I just knew there was something about it that didn't quite sit well with me. No need to go running to change any of yours! Please! To each his own and I fully respect that. I just thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject.

Another thing, I am definitely not a programmer. What little I know is due to my IT guru husband (thank you nn!). So if you have any questions my answers may be limited at best.

The current version of the blog that you see today was achieved by following the layout shared here. At first, I followed the template instructions as they are shown. However, I realized that I didn't want my blog to be so wide so I changed some of the measurements.

For those of you that were around here at midnight and you caught me fiddling around, I apologize for the mess. You can now rest assured that your browser wasn't having cardiac arrest.

a bit late but heartfelt

Just like many of you, I was very sad the day Craft announced that it would suspend publication of it's print magazine. I felt particularly sad because I was very fortunate to have a couple of projects in two issues and I had an article set to be published in issue 11 (a paper lamp I love and use in our own living room). I'm so glad I have my ten volumes to pour over at any time I wish.

I have no doubt that the web site, with the awesome Natalie Zee Drieu at the helm, will continue to provide inspiration and highlight the best of the crafting world (including my alphabet flash cards - thank you!). I wish them the best of luck and look forward to many more visits. Thank you Craft!

• • • •

On my night table this week:
No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog
I bought this book over the weekend at the Mom 2.0 Summit. I had seen it before but had never really thought I needed it until I opened it. I love that it's a short quick read and humorous at the same time. Maggie's suggestions are very general and can apply to anyone or anything. I think it will be a great reference book to have when I happen to get stuck in the writing department—something that happens more often than I care to admit.

Speaking of Maggie... Remember I said I liked the fact that the summit was small? Where else would've Maggie Mason and I be sitting on either side of Gabrielle Blair during a session? I got a chance to talk to them both and they couldn't have been any nicer - just like everyone else there.

mom 2.0 summit

It has been a couple of days since I was at the Mom 2.0 Summit and I'm still digesting all the information that I collected. I definitely learned a lot but mostly I am now really inspired. Inspired to continue to move forward with my plans and maybe to expand them. Big dreams are certainly worth a shot.

One of the things I liked most about the event was the fact that it was small. There were plenty of opportunities to meet the speakers. They were all very accessible and open to questions. Networking was easy. You weren't elbowing your way through a crowd. It was more like a big living room full of people willing to just talk. And talk I did - a lot!

I also reaffirmed the obvious. As great as it is to blog & twitter there is definitely nothing superior to in-person conversations and meeting new friends.

Thank you to the ladies of Kirtsy and OpMom for organizing such a great event!

alphabet flash cards

I've been wanting to complete a set of alphabet flash cards for a very long time. It's finally done. I asked the kids for their opinions when I was unsure of what word to use for some of the letters and I used a larger format so that the cards could be multi-purpose. Play with them, color them, frame them - you (or your little one) decide.

Tonight I'll be at the opening of Mom 2.0 Summit
. I can't wait to see what blogging friends I'll meet!

little laughs

This is something I listen to every now and then when I feel like a little laugh and I thought it would be a nice way to end the week.

A little background info first. This was recorded almost 2 years ago (the kids were 3 and 7). We were all in the study and little C was sitting on one of the desk chairs (the type that can go around and around). D made up a 'game' where he'd count to three (Spanish) and push the chair around in circles (with C in it). He'd wait for it to come around and let it hit him so he'd fall to the ground in 'knocked-out' fashion. Little C thought this was extremely hilarious. Mr. Z and I were just laughing because little C's laughter was so contagious. Listen - promise it's short - oh and really silly.

I made the recording using Audacity. It's free and so very easy to use. I've recorded the kids singing, saying their ABCs, chatting and just acting silly. If you have kids you should really try it. It's amazing how their voices change in just a few months time. I know the same can be achieved with video but somehow just listening makes it all sound so much sweeter.

Have a great weekend everyone and go have some laughs of your own!

(Oh my... 2nd post in a row without a photo. I told you that things came to a screeching halt around here! Next week will be better.)

the proposal

This conversation took place 12 years ago today:

Him: What do we do?
Me: I don't know.
Him: But I miss you.
Me: I know. I miss you too.
Him: What do we do?
Me: I don't know.
Him: Let's get married. (laugh)
Me: Ok. (laugh)
Him: I'm being serious.
Me: I know. I was being serious too.
Him: Will you marry me?
Me: Of course! Yes!
A moment of stunned silence. Gleeful laughter.

And that was that. I was in my college dorm room. He was at work, overseas and 2300 miles away. It was one of the many conversations we had that I talked a bit about here.

I flew down there a month and a half later (during my spring break) and we got married by a judge, in a ceremony that didn't last more than 10 minutes. We were rushing to start his visa paperwork because some new laws were going to take effect that would've made the whole process take much longer. Our church wedding was in August of the same year. Kind of crazy, but it worked!

• • •

Activities here have come to a grinding halt because we've all been sick. No flu (thank goodness) but a terrible case of allergies, which lead to sinus infections, which lead to fevers, which lead to restless nights, etc. It's been crazy. Mr. Z is home today and in bed. Fun times.

while he was away

On Saturday we spent a fun and leisurely afternoon which included a carousel ride I had promised my little C. We were on day two of being without Mr. Z who was out of town and some entertainment and quality time together were of the essence. We took turns on picking what we wanted to do or eat.

I took this photo with my iPhone and I'd say that in general terms it describes our kids' personalities. There goes my little C flying by (in pink and blue) while my D watches from a distance. She may tend to be my little adventurer while he goes for the safe bet but they're equally sweet and have hearts of gold.

Daddy is home and now we all feel whole again.

the 'official' artist in the family

Is my brother Felipe. After coming back from serving 4yrs as a Marine he went to college to study art. He works in many mediums and paper is one of them. Our styles vary greatly but we do bounce ideas off of each other every now and then.

In light of the recent legal issues surrounding Shepard Fairey's Obama Hope work I thought it would be interesting to show my brother's latest self-portrait. It was obviously inspired by said piece and it's completely made out of paper.

My brother is definitely one to enjoy a twist in his work so I wasn't surprised to see the word dope instead of hope. I asked my brother what he meant by it and he said he'd leave it up to the viewer to decide what definition of the word dope to use.

Is it too terrible to admit that I didn't know that dope is also used for something hip and/or cool?

And here he is with his fiancée.

when life gives you lemons

You cuddle, play Chutes & Ladders, draw, cuddle some more, make castles and towers and watch Mary Poppins for the 1000th time (little C's favorite).

I've had my little C with me all week. We're both coughing like never before and her fever is sending us on roller coaster rides of snuggling blankie time and running around play time. It hasn't been too bad but needless to say I've been all Mom this week. My Twitter friends have received the mundane details of my whining and random thoughts.

In a strange way I find that my body gives in when it's time for some time away from work. I'm still working a bit at night but the slow pace is nice. Next week I'm hoping I'll be able to show off some new things I have in the works.

To share something paper related, here is a custom piece that I made a few weeks ago. How I wish we were able to enjoy a walk outside. Just to add some insult to injury, the weather out here has been perfect - cloudless and sunny.

Thank you Apartment Therapy for featuring my magazine bowl project on their blog yesterday!