8.30.2010

RIP Laptop

It was the moment I haven't been waiting for.
My laptop is dead.
As in..
...crashed,
...black screen,
...nada
...done-zo.
Everything is gone.
And I mean EVERYTHING.
Every program, every file, every picture.
GONE.
For the past 4 months my laptop has been acting sketchy.
Like really sketchy.
Not booting up, freezing up, not holding a battery charge, randomly shutting off, etc.
So, I wasn't surprised when I turned it on Saturday evening & after I booted it up, I saw this message, "Windows Error Recovery".
I immediately panicked, had Kevin come check out the computer & I didn't push any buttons until he told me to (he is the computer savvy one).
We ran the start up repair on it & it didn't work, now when I turn on the laptop, I get the dreaded black screen with a blinking cursor on the upper left hand corner. Not good.
Yesterday, we tried running the Recovery Back up disks, but the CD Rom of the laptop doesn't work, so that won't work either.

Oh yeah, and on top of all this, Kate had the stomach flu this weekend, so the crashed laptop was just the icing on the cake.

I am bummed my laptop crashed because it was only 2.5 years old.
I thought it would last at least 3-4 years.
I am not getting a new lap top anytime soon. Kevin has a laptop, so I will just use that.

But the good news out of all of this? Because my laptop was acting sketchy the past 4 months, I have had a bad feeling that it was going to crash, so I have been backing up all my files & pictures on my external hard drive every week. Just 2 weeks ago, I even backed up all my fonts!

I did lose a few things that I have worked on the past week (like cupcake toppers & favor tags for Claire's party) but I can recreate those.

So, the moral of the story? Back up your files/pictures AT LEAST once a week!

I got this laptop when I was 5 months preggo with Claire, so every single picture that I have taken of her was on that laptop. I am SO glad they are all saved on my external hard drive. And, luckily all the photo shoot pictures I have taken & edited were backed up.

And, because I am so paranoid, after the girls wake up from their naps today, I am going to buy another external hard drive so that I have a back up if anything happens to the original external hard drive. Yes, I am crazy, but I would FREAK if I lost all the pictures of my girls lives. I would have to commit myself to a mental hospital if I had lost all the pictures of their lives.

So, stop what you are doing and go back up your files & pictures!

8.27.2010

Flashback Friday: Hurricane Katrina

This weekend marks the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
It was one of worst natural disasters to hit the United States.
5 years later, people in New Orleans & the Mississippi Gulf region are still not back in their homes.

After Katrina hit, I knew I wanted to help in some way, even though I lived across the country in California. During my Spring Break of 2006, my younger sister Rebecca & I went with our church on a mission trip to New Orleans & the gulf shores of Mississippi to help build houses for people who lost their home when Katrina hit.

This was the 2nd mission trip I have done within the United States, the first one was 9/11 relief which you can read about here.
(Becks & I)

Churches from all over the country were involved in the project.
Sponsor churches built the framing of the houses in church parking lots & all the framing was sent on trucks to Mississippi/New Orleans for a neighborhood project called Victory Park.
Another group of churches had been there the week before pouring the foundation, so when we got there, our jobs were to get the framing up, put up the siding and windows, plumbing and electricity & then paint the houses.
This is the house framing that our church did & then they were shipped to Mississippi on a truck:
A total of 16 new homes were built.
Becks and I volunteered for the painting team. It was a lot of fun!
Scafolding was fun to be on!
A view of some of the new houses:
Becks & I painted the majority of this house along with 2 other people.
In front of one of the houses we painted:
The second to last day we were there, they had a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the houses. People in the community who were hoping to put a bid on one of the homes were there.
It was amazing & inspiring meeting them & hearing their Katrina stories. It really put things in perspective.
We had the opportunity to go to a Sunday service at one of the local Baptist churches.
We were the only white people there. In fact, we were the first white people to ever attend a service there. It was shocking to see how segregated it still was in this little town in Mississippi. The people at the church were WONDERFUL. The pastor, Greg was amazing. We were there on Palm Sunday. It was one of the best services I have ever been to in my entire life. I will never, ever forget it. Ever. Pastor Greg is an amazing man & we got along great. His family is awesome.I send him a Christmas card every year!

Here is Pastor Greg helping us on the work site:
One of evenings after our work day, we took a drive to the gulf coast and saw the devastation in Biloxi, Mississippi. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what damage Katrina had done to this city. It pretty much wiped it out.
Gorgeous sea front homes were unrecognizable.
We were there 6 months after Katrina hit & nothing had been cleaned up. It was incredibly sad.
It was an amazing week...a week I will never ever forget.
My heart has a special place for the people of New Orleans & the Mississippi Gulf.
I am still praying for them, 5 years later.

8.17.2010

My Kind of S'mores

Normally, I am not a big fan of s'mores
(I know, I know)
I think it is because I don't like plain Hershey bars.
So, I switch it up when I make s'mores.....
Goodbye Hershey Bar, Hello Reece's Peanut Butter Cups!
This is fun & simple twist on S'mores!
I don't know about you, but Reeces Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite chocolate candy. Yum.
The girls were so excited to make s'mores this summer.
We made them in May, but Kate has been asking to make them again
(and, this was on our summer list)
(Disclaimer: no one was harmed while Claire ran around the house with a bent wire hanger)

We don't have a fire pit, so we roast our marshmallows on our gas BBQ. That's how we roll.
The perfect s'mores marshmallow is lightly toasted all around...not burnt.
Please note Exhibit A:
This is NOT how you roast a marshmallow...Having it catch on fire is a big no-no.
(Kevin is a fan of this method....Kate and I? Not so much)

While my marshmallows are roasting, I put a graham cracker & a peanut butter cup on some foil on the grill to get my chocolate slightly warm.
Kate is mesmorized by this whole process...she wanted her dessert!
Almost ready....just needs a top cracker!
Yum. Yum. Yum.
What's not to love?
Graham Crackers? Good.
Marshmallows? Good.
Reeces Peanut Butter Cups? Really Good!
I think it is safe to say that both girls loved them!

I give these S'mores 2 thumbs up.
If you like Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and you like S'mores, give these a try!

8.16.2010

Dear Target,

Just when I don't think I can love you more than I already do, you TOTALLY out do yourself.

I don't think you understand how happy I was when I saw this on the front entrance of my local Target:
Now I can get clothes, shoes, tolietries, cleaning supplies, grocercies, meat & produce all in one place?
Yes.
Yes, please.

(Don't even get me started on the dollar section....LOVE!)

Only 27 more days until this is a reality. Can't wait for September 12th.
I think it is time for me to buy stock in Target, because the amount of money that I spend there is going to increase (sorry, Kevin)

And, if getting a full grocery section wasn't good enough, this week our Target replaced ALL of the shopping carts, with awesome new plastic shopping carts.
They are the smoothest, lightest, easiest things to maneuver.

I love you, Target.

Your BFF,
Mel

8.15.2010

Blogoversary Giveaway Winnners!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my Blogoversary post!
All of you are so kind and I loved reading all your comments!
Without further ado....here are the winners
{via random.org}

The winner of 3 Messy.Flowers from Joy's Hope is...
#182 -Michele

The winner of a Tri-Rose Headband from Erin's Haute Tots is...
#12 - Randa Faith
The winner of the Sunglasses Case from Handmade by Heather is...
#92 - Megan
The winner of a crayon roll from Two Little Tots is...
#71 - Karina

The winner of a signed copy of Totally Desperate Mom is...
#59 - Teale

Congrats to the winners!

If you won, be sure and leave a comment with your email so that I can get in touch with you!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

8.10.2010

10 on 10 :: August 2010

10 on 10: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments!

Happy 10th!
This was a super fun day for me because I have a friends in town staying at my house!
Julie & Erin came up from So Cal for a Project 320 reunion to visit myself, Heather G. & Heather M.

Erin helping the girls make breakfast....We made Monkey Bread, of course!
Claire playing outside in the backyard while we wait for Monkey Bread to bake.
Kate's chalk drawing in the backyard:
Then we all ventured out to Target & found these cute shoes for only $10.
After Target, it was time for lunch (actually it 3:00, so it was PAST lunchtime)
I took everyone to one of my favorite sandwich places & I got my favorite sandwhich ever.
Roast turkey, cream cheese, cranberry sauce & avocado. YUM!
After lunch, we went to Joann's Fabric to buy fabric.
Heather, Julie & Erin (all these girls are super crafty. I am not so crafty)
Picture of Julie's quilt that she was working on:
(she took this picture on my camera)
Here is a picture of how our Target shoes were transformed.
Erin made cute fabric roses & she put them on the shoes.
Mine are the black shoes with red roses (try to ignore my pasty white legs)
The 5 of us at dinner (we missed you Marta!)
These girls are creative, amazing & inspiring! It is a privilege to share life with them!
It was such a fun day hanging out with friends, shopping, crafting, talking & eating!

Hope you had a great tenth!

P.S.
Thank you so much to everyone for the nice comments on my Blogoversary post!
You still have 4 more days to enter the giveaway, be sure to enter if you haven't already!

8.08.2010

It's my Blogoversary!

My blog is 2 years old today!
This calls for a celebration...giveaway style!

Two years ago on August 8, 2008 I was 8 months pregnant with Claire.
Kate was 18 months old.
Kevin and I were watching the Summer Olympics & I decided to create a blog as a way to document & scrapbook our lives.
I loved reading other people's blogs and had been wanting to start my own, so I figured 08.08.08 was a good time to start (you know me...I love numbers!)

I had no idea how much blogging would enrich my life.
It has become so much more than just a scrapbook.
I have meet & become friends with people because of this blog.
I was able to be a part of Project 320 because of this blog.

In honor of my 2 year blogoversary, I am doing a giveaway!
It is not just 1 giveaway, I am giving away 5 items!
You can consider this a "thank you" for reading my blog!
There are Five prizes & there will be Five winners!

*******************************
Here is what you can win:

Julie at Joy's Hope makes the cutest stuff, including her messy.flower.pins!
Julie is one of the most creative people I know.
This fun, funky and messy flower is the perfect addition to any day.
Great for little girls, big girls and adults alike.
A great accessory for any outfit. Any day..
Pin it on a jacket, a purse, a pillow...
Make a simple outfit special.
Winner gets these 3 messy.flower.pins!

****************************************
How would you like a cute tri-rose headband from
Erin's Haute Tots?
They can be made in any color! Winner gets to choose what color they want!
*********************************
Keep your sunglasses protected and do it in style with a sunglasses case from
Handmade by Heather!
Drawstring pouches are machine stitched for durability, fully lined in a coordinating fabric, and complete with a fabric tie closure!
Winner gets to choose any sunglasses case from her shop!

****************************
How cute are these crayon roll ups from
Two Little Tots?
Melissa is the owner & has twin girls who are adorable!
Hold your children's crayons in fashion! Great for outings, such as waiting at the doctor's office, sitting through church, riding on an airplane, eating out or enduring long car trips! Moms can curb boredom immediately! The crayon roll up can fit easily into a purse or diaper bag. It helps promote creativity and brings out the little artist in your tot.

Winner gets to choose which fabric they want!

************************************
My friend Wendy (aka the Totally Desperate Mom)
wrote a book & it came out last month!
I read it 2 week ago & it is a must read for all mom's out there!
I have a signed copy ready to send to you!

*************************************

So, there you have it...my blogoversary giveaway!
Five prizes & Five winners!
To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post!
Followers get an additional entry, so follow along if you aren't already!

Giveaway ends at midnight on August 14th
{Winners will be picked via random.org}

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog, listen to my ramblings and look at my pictures & comment!
It has been such a fun experience these past 2 years (349 posts later....)
I still can't believe people read my blog...I am just an ordinary girl, who takes too many pictures and feels very blessed in this life.
So, thank YOU for reading!

8.06.2010

Farmers Market Fun

One of our favorite things to do is walk downtown to the Farmers Market.
Our Farmers Market is year round & held on Thursday Nights and Saturday Mornings.
We usually walk to it on Saturday Mornings on the trail that runs by our house
(and Peet's coffee is next to the Farmers Market, so we stop there to get a pick me up!)

I only allow myself to bring $20 to the Farmers Market. If I don't set a budget, I will spend WAY more than that!

I love all the sights, sounds & colors of the Farmers Market!
Fresh Corn on the Cob...nothing better than that!
Fresh Strawberries....
Cherry Tomatoes & Jalapenos....
This fruit/pepper sauce is AMAZING!
It comes in Apricot, Raspberry or Peach.
(I buy the Apricot one)
I take a block of cream cheese, pour some of the sauce on it & eat it with Wheat Thins!
It's a quick & yummy appetizer!
Nectarines!
Sunflowers make me happy :)
Actually, so do most fresh flowers!
These carrots remind me of a Peter Rabbit book:
Whenever I smell fresh Basil, it reminds me that summer is here!
Young Lady Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes
Here is my stash of what I bought....
All this for only $20! Sweet!
Farmers Market Tip: We usually go toward the end of the Farmers Market because that is when they start slashing the prices! I got all my tomatoes for half price!

Some of the things I made this week (and will be making this weekend) with my ingredients:
Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto & Basil Panini
Becky's Panzanella
Colorful Bowtie Alfredo
Nectarine Smoothie

I love all the fresh ingredients that you can get at the Farmers Market...food tastes so much better. And, it is always better to buy local & organic...not to mention it is way cheaper (and better quality) than the grocery store!

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