Sweet Progress Winter Swap Box Reveal!

Sweet Progress Winter Swap Box Reveal!

Sweet-Progress-Winter-Swap-Box-Reveal

I participated in the Sweet Winter Galentine’s Box Swap and was paired with Dara from the blog “Not in Jersey.”  I noticed right away that Dara lived in Kansas, but little did I know how much we would have in common!!!  The internet is such a small world.

Dara was kind enough to ask if there was anything specific that I would like in my box.  I replied that I would love, love, love to receive items that were “Kansas,” since I’ve never been to Kansas.  I also let her know that I’m a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan.  I assume that everyone who lives in Kansas is friends with Dorothy – I’m weird like that.

She was excited to tell me that not only was she a huge Wizard of Oz fan, too, but that the name of her blog was an homage to the movie – “Not in Jersey,” get it?  Like “not in Kansas anymore!”  So cute!

We also discovered that we are both from New Jersey and that her parents live in Florida about 25 miles from me.  So it is quite possible that this box swap could turn into a real-life meet-up one day.

I was excited to receive some fun “Kansas” items in my box:

Sweet-Progress-Winter-Swap-Box-Reveal

Dorothy!  Dark chocolate!  Sunflowers!  Apple butter!  BBQ sauce!!  All of my favorite things.  It’s like Dara read my mind.

Dara was also thoughtful enough to include items to donate to Cosmetics for a Cause! That was so sweet of her!!!  Cosmetics for a Cause is a non-profit that collects makeup and donates it to women in need.  These fun items will make someone less-fortunate very happy. Thank you, Dara!!!!  And thank you, Ashley and Dean for organizing this fun box swap!!!

Sweet-Progress-Winter-Swap-Box-Reveal

P.S.  Naturally, I mailed Dara a box of eWillow.com Greeting Cards.  Coincidentally, though, I mailed her my latest collection of hot-air balloon cards.  There’s no place like home!!  Those Wizard of Oz bonds run deep!! 🙂

Sweet-Progress-Winter-Swap-Box-Reveal

One of the cards I mailed to Dara! I didn’t realize the Wizard of Oz reference!!!

 

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My First Crush: Robert Ashton

My First Crush:  Robert Ashton

my first crush:  robert ashton

Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect day to write about my first crush, Robert Ashton, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. My first crush lasted TWO whole years, from second grade to third grade at D’Ippolito Elementary School in Vineland, NJ.  Robert Ashton was a rosy-cheeked, dark-haired cherub.  He was all I thought about!  We sat next to each other and talked all the time.  That is pretty much all I remember about our interactions. But the most important thing is that sitting next to him taught me what it was like to have butterflies in my stomach over a boy.  Isn’t that what first crushes are all about, anyway?

Robert moved away during our elementary school/middle school years.  We never kept in touch, but thanks to Google, I found him a few years ago.  Turns out he was still a cutie pie, and in addition to his good looks, he was also a prestigious thoracic surgeon in northern New Jersey.  He was married to the very beautiful Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a medical contributor to Good Morning America. Robert himself also had some on-air TV gigs with FOX News.

I was devastated tonight when I was tagged in a FB post about Robert.  He jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge in NYC over the weekend, just a couple of weeks after his divorce.  The news stung my heart.  How could it be? On Valentine’s Day eve I learned that my first crush died tragically.

His wife posted this on her Facebook page.  It’s just too sad.  It was shocking to me that the news also made our local Palm Beach Post newspaper.  The George Washington Bridge…that’s the bridge we take whenever we drive to Erica’s college from NJ.

I wish I could find my class photos from second and third grade.  I know I have them somewhere.  But right now, I’m too stunned to look.

In the meantime, this is Dr. Robert Ashton … R.I.P.

my first crush:  robert ashton

photo via LinkedIn

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Valentine’s Day Gift

Valentine’s Day Gift

What is your favorite Valentine’s Day gift to give and/or receive?  I’m a peanut M&M’s kind of girl.  I don’t need diamonds or flowers.  Yuk.  This year, Neil told me he is giving me a colonoscopy as my Valentine’s Day gift.  What???  He is scheduled for a follow-up colonoscopy on the 15th, and he told me it’s a gift to me because it means a longer life for him, which in-turn is a gift for me!  I like that kind of thinking.

Six years ago today, when Neil was 51, he went in for a routine colonoscopy and came home with the knowledge that he had a “very large tumor” and he needed to “have it removed and have it removed right away.”  It was certainly a jolt to our systems.

He’s been cancer-free for five years, and except for neuropathy in his feet from the chemo, no one would ever know.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so if you are stuck with what to give yourself or someone else for Valentine’s Day, schedule a colonoscopy if you are fifty or older.  You could look at it as being gross, or you could look at it as a sign of love.  It’s up to you!

valentines day gift

Isn’t this adorable? It was made by my BFF Nancy.

My BFF Nancy made these cute Valentine’s Day blocks.  Coincidentally, Nancy is a radiation therapist.  Her daughter is one, too, and treated Neil. 🙂

P.S.  Let me also add that Neil had zero symptoms.

#valentinesdaygift #coloncancer #coloncancerawareness

 

 

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Galentine’s Day Winter Box Swap!

Galentine’s Day Winter Box Swap!

Friends!  You know how much I love snail mail, right?  I mean, I have an entire website dedicated to making sure that snail mail never becomes a thing of the past.  I spend my life making greeting cards, for heaven’s sake!  So when I found out about the Galentine’s Day Winter Box Swap, I immediately signed up to participate.

The Sweet Progress Box Swap is a seasonal box swap for bloggers.  All of the participants are paired up with another blogger in the USA or Canada and the goal is to swap a gift. (Do I even need to tell you what I’ll be swapping? 🙂 ) I think it will be a fun way to connect with other bloggers before I attend my first BlogHer conference in June!

Blogging is a cool thing.  I’ve made some friends along the way.  As luck would have it, I’ve been able to meet two of the people I’ve met in cyberspace in person.  Remember when I went to the cheesesteak karaoke party with Natalie Hill and when I coincidentally discovered via Facebook that my bird nest loving blogging buddy was in NYC at the same time I was??  Life is too weird!

You can find out more about the Sweet Progress Galentine’s Day Box Swap HERE, and be sure to subscribe to receive email updates when I post a new blog entry.  That way you’ll be able to keep up with the swap and see with whom I’m paired and the fun that ensues.

Have a happy week, and can you believe Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl????  AMAZING!

subscription box greeting cards

not sponsored

 

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Craft Room Reveal!!!

ikea craft room

Ikea Craft Room Reveal!!

You guys!  Finally!  I have a dedicated creative space that doesn’t interfere with our living space and doesn’t require me to apologize to anyone who visits.  We’ve lived in our house for 22 years, and I’ve spent the past 14 of those years making cards.  Before that, I spent my free time designing and making outfits for American Girl dolls.  I took over the dining room, the family room, and pretty much EVERY room with my projects.

The Dilemma

We toyed with moving to a larger home more times than I care to count.  However, we could never justify the higher taxes.  Plus, we have the best neighbors ever – they are like family – so the thought of leaving them added to our decision to stay put.

Somehow, we raised a family amid the crafting chaos.  Now we are empty-nesters, so our home goals have changed.  We are now thinking “multi-generational.”  When the girls bring home their husbands and kids, where will they all fit?  Yes, a bigger house would be perfect, but honestly, for what we would pay in increased property taxes we could stay at The Breakers for a week when they visit.  So we aren’t going anywhere.

The Solution

I’m happy to share my craft room reveal today that checks off all the required boxes! The stuff is moved out of the living area, I didn’t have to sacrifice anything, I have extra space now for my sewing machine, and we have a bigger bed to accommodate our future growing family.  It has been a big WIN!!!  Take a look!  It’s the CRAFT ROOM REVEAL!!!!

ikea craft room

ikea craft room

queen-size murphy bed with storage drawers and shelves for our American Girl doll collection

ikea craft room

table under the window for project photos and videos – lots of natural light!

ikea craft room

space for the printer, sewing machine, AND a dedicated space for die-cutting

ikea craft room

this is the creative area – where all the action takes place!

The only things we needed to purchase were the desks and two drawer units.  I spray-painted all of the other storage bins and baskets white so the wall would look less cluttered.

As you can see, the answer for me was to use wall space to create my craft room.  It’s vital to me that my supplies are within arms-reach, and I was able to accomplish that goal.

I would have loved to have used floating shelves, but they aren’t practical for me.  Crafting supplies come and go, so I needed to have shelves that are adjustable.  Done!

If you are interested, here are the links to the items from Ikea…cheaper now than when we bought them, naturally.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Leave your comments.

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