12 – 4 – 2012

Twelve for twenty-twelve.

Twelve plans for the new year.

Do you have plans? Resolutions? Dreams you want to turn into reality this year? Why don’t we share? I’ll tell you yours and you tell me mine, and that way we can keep a friendly eye on each other (perhaps even whisper a gentle reminder in each other’s ear in case either of us comes in danger of flaking off on one or two). Sounds good?

I’ll start. Here are my 12 for 2012:

1. Prioritize prayer.

Too often, too many things fill up the day, like different ties clamped onto my body pulling me in this and that direction… and all of these things I have to do every single day matter not one bit, and all of those points on the To-Do List will not be as successful as they could be, if I don’t stop to spend some time in conversation with Him who gave me my life. This fact is not easy to remember, especially on the busiest of days: I know that by experience. It is a struggle. But a sweet one, and one that I want to apply all my energy to, because He comes first, after all.

2. Send a newsletter every month.

Just because I love ya and would love to keep in touch with you more often. And maybe pester you in your inbox. 😆

Nah, seriously. I would love to be able to share more, and I see my newsletter as a way of achieving that goal… with the side benefit of staying in touch with updates that might not find themselves into a blogpost. Also, I love learning a new thing everyday, so it was a total thrill to learn how to create sign-up forms and set up a whole newsletter system! Took me more than 24 hours — close to 48, actually — to set the whole thing up, but it was an awesome experience learning it!

And so do check out the right sidebar, right over there –> and DO sign up! You know you want to… 😉

Or if you visit my Facebook page HERE, you’ll find it on the left sidebar too.

Now why would you want me popping into your inbox? Uhm… cos you love me? 😆 Seriously, though, I’m planning to hop by perhaps once a month (unless there are more delish things to share after I’ve sent the monthly newsletter). I’m really excited about this, because not only do I get to bore you with my random thoughts (mwahaha), but I also now have the perfect way to share more goodies with you!

Here’s what you can expect from my newsletters (in case you find yourself wondering “Should I or shouldn’t I?”) – the latest news on the homefront (think: be the first to find out about sales and freebies and events!), my newest creations and products, news about classes (exciting ones that I would highly recommend as well any classes that I might be coming up with this year 😉 ), perhaps a few samples of my photographic adventures, quite possibly some random thoughts, and while we’re at it, why not throw in some special subscriber coupons and freebies as well? *Squeal!*

3. Release freebies through my Facebook page.

Remember that Facebook page I talked about? Well, I’m presently working on setting up the systems that will allow me to give exclusive freebies to liv.edesigns Facebook fans (or, in Facebook lingo, those that “Like” my page).

The work that I’ve been doing on this behind the scenes constitutes part of all the Geekifying-Liv Adventures that I’ve been enjoying since the new year started. (If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know, too, if and when the freebies are out on my Facebook page! How’s that for incentive? >tee hee<)

4. Put up a new product in my shop every week.

I sometimes suspect that I have Designers ADHD – and no, there’s no such thing in real life 😆 . I just invented it as an excuse for all the half-finished projects that I have in my work folders on my computer. Plus all my projects-to-be that are still sketches in multiple notebooks and boxes and artwork that needs to find its way onto my scanner… that kind of thing. Sooo I need to actually get them off the physical (or mental) plane and onto the digital drawing board and then into my shop. Every week. For all the 52 weeks of this year.

Keeping my fingers crossed (and toes… and eyes thrown in, for good measure) that I make it! 😉

 5. Create one layout every month.

I looked back on the layouts I created for 2011 and discovered that these weren’t even enough to complete an album (whereas I could easily fill 16 pages of an album with one of Jessica’s three-week classes in the past). Maybe part of it is taking more photos (I completed Project 365, yay!), maybe part of it is having my three youngest kids in school (and therefore I’m a driver-mama in the mornings and tutoring-mama in the afternoons till evenings), maybe part of it is taking on parent-projects from the said schools, and maybe part of it is growing old and losing the ability to exist on 3-hours of sleep night after night on a regular basis. 😆

But I do feel the need to scrap more, even if it needs to be a “quickie” kind of thing. Just because there are all these stories that need to be told, not just in photos, not just in words, but in a pretty triple combination of words+photos+art.

 6. CreART.

By this I mean I want to stretch my boundaries, artwise. Learn something new. Get my hands dirty with paint and glue and stuff. (Or find a way to do it digitally! ;)). Experiment with something, even if it’s just sewing paper or painting a frame or putting together a miniature chair.

Another thing I really want to get into: create an Art Journal. (More on that soon! ;))

7. Do Project 365+

Last year was my first attempt to take a photo a day for each day of the year. And I am so thrilled to say that I actually did it!

This year, I’m attempting to do it again because it’s a fab way to document life as it happens (even if you may not have the time to scrap a page about it, at least you’ve frozen the moment in a photo that you can always go back to). Also, since practice makes perfect, I truly believe it does wonders in helping one constantly develop one’s photographic skills. And beyond that, the biggest reason why I love Project 365, is this: it forces you to look at everyday, ordinary moments and see the beauty, the miracle, the joyful wonder that might not immediately be visible on the surface.

(I am also considering trying my hand at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, where you choose a photo to interpret their theme for the week. Read more about it HERE).

 8. Use my Bind-It-All.

I confess. I’ve had this for hmmm, three years? And I’ve never used it. Geesh. I can be hopeless that way.

So this year, I plan to actually use it instead of looking at it on my shelf and promising “One day, BIA, you and I are going to be good friends.” That day must come this year. 🙂

9. Maintain serenity.

In the midst of attempting to put all these plans into action, I would like to be peaceful. Calm. Serene… whether the day is just like any other day or the world is spinning madly and I’m doing all I can to hold tight.

A very wise person once said “Be like the duck: all calm on the surface but paddling like hell under the water.”

Yep, I want to be a duck. I mean, not literally, but… you know what I mean. 🙂 (And somehow I’m pretty sure that if I stick to Plan #1, I won’t have much trouble sticking to this one 🙂 ).

10. Send a family newsletter at least bimonthly.

Because life today is such that we find that the people we love very dearly and the folks we grew up with are living in different areas all over the world. And life can get so busy that sometimes months pass without any of us managing to sit down and trade news and hugs with family and our closest of friends. So this year I want to consciously make time for that. Time to remind my brother and sister and aunt and uncle, who all happen to live in different parts of the globe, all oceans away from me, that I miss them and I love them and I think they’re precious.

11. Blog three times a week.

Because I love you! And I love spending time with you on my blogporch!

‘Nuff said. 🙂

12. Cook something special once a month. Or maybe cook up a new class.

Who knows what surprises the year holds in store, right? Wink wink.

Phew! Whattalist! Thank you for reading through that! And as your reward for sticking it out till the end, I have some super-fab news for you! Do you love templates? If you do, you’re in luck, honey!

Fifty Free Templates

… are yours for the taking! Fifty of them. I’ve got to be kidding, right? Nope. Fifty free awesome templates from the JessicaSprague.com Admin and Creative Team are just waiting for you to grab them, if you don’t have them yet.

Just in case you’re not a regular on our Spraground (in which case I would say to you, Aww, come on! You’re missing half of your life by not joining us there! ), these 50 templates were given out as freebies over the course of more-or-less fifty “Template Tuesdays” in 2011.

The last Template Tuesday was done on the 26th of December last year (sounds so far off, can you believe that’s just 2 weeks ago?) and guess who made the last of templates? 😉

Here’s Template Tuesday #50, by yours truly…

… and if you click on the image above, it will bring you to the page where you can download it (along with #49 which was created by our Creative Team Member, my friend Chrissy Guido).

You can use the template any way you want to (for your personal use, of course) since it’s a layered file (you can move things around if you wish, clip more than 1 photo to the masks, etc)… and as a special bonus I threw in a 12×12 textured background paper ;). Sweet!

Here’s what I created with my template:

To download the rest of the Template Tuesdays, you can read my dear friend Kari’s instructions and get the links on the page where you grab my template…

Or you can download the latest templates HERE (Templates Nos. 28 to 48)

and HERE (Templates Nos. 21-27)

and the earlier templates HERE (Templates Nos. 1-26) .

(So sorry for having to give you all these separate links, but they ended up in separate areas since these were first given on our Digi Lovely Blog and then moved to our homepage blog at JessicaSprague.com).

And if the prospect of getting FIFTY FREE templates isn’t enough to make you squeal, here’s a little more interesting info: if you download these templates and create with them, and then upload those creations in our Template Tuesday Gallery HERE, you get not only a kajillion awesome layouts created by YOU (plus get those marvelous photos and memories documented, finally! 😉 ), but if you upload 10 layouts created with 10 different templates from the Template Tuesday collection, you also get the chance to win a $5-coupon to use at our JessicaSprague.com shop (so you can buy those yummies you’ve had your eye on for the past weeks).

Seriously, does that not just ROCK? (I have to insert here that I totally {heart} the JessicaSprague.com Admin and Designers and Creative Team! I’m pretty sure you will too, and when you see the awesome templates they’ve created you’ll love them even more!).

Here’s the only catch: Since Template Tuesday has been around all of 2011 (the last one ran last Dec. 26th), you only have till the end of this month (January 2012) to download those template babies as well as to upload your layouts with them to be eligible for the coupon. And if you end up being so busy these days that you can’t create 10 layouts, then you can still hoard those amazin’ templates and create with them later on! Just don’t forget to grab them before the end of this month, okay? 🙂

Voila! All good things must come to an end (you still awake? :lol:) so now it’s time for my little Tell-Me Bunny’s last postscript:

Okay, your turn: What are your plans for 2012?

But wait! Before you hit that comment button and tell me what your plans are (are we embarking on some journeys that are the same? I’m excited to know!), don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

And… that’s it, folks! See you real soon!


It’s a New Decade! {Ten Plans for 2010}

Well, hello there! And happy new year!

If it seems I’ve disappeared into thin air these past few months, I am so sorry. 😦 I got abducted by some germ monsters who stole my alien DNA and left human genes in their wake (read: I suddenly needed more than 3 hours of sleep and I actually GOT SICK! ~ bleah ~ The thing is, for people who hardly ever get sick, once they do it’s like having one foot in the grave. I still have a major cough that makes me sound like a great barking watchdog but at least I now have the strength to sit up and work on my compy! So YAY! :D)

Then there was that great tsunami-like wave of activity brought by the holiday season 😉 , which in this part of the world can get seriously crazy. Christmas is the best time of the year for me–a sentiment shared by everybody in this Pacific archipelago, methinks–so traffic on the roads increases a hundredfold, parties and social obligations leave you crossing out every single square on your December calendar all the way till January 1st of the following year, and then there are all those gifts to buy, lists to check, and let’s not forget the most important part of it: preparing yourself internally for the reason for the season (which I will admit is such a struggle to do during this most hectic of months of the year! Luckily it’s the struggle that really counts! 😉 )

Oh and yeah, it didn’t help much that, according to my dear friend Tori, I suffer from this illness affecting my extremities: the kind that makes my right hand shoot up involuntarily whenever I hear the question, “Who wants to volunteer…?” and the same one that makes my left hand slink down under my chair whenever I hear the question, “Are there any objections?” hahaha. Pretty dangerous disease to have around Christmastime when there’s just more stuff to do than there are hours in a day.

This condition gets especially challenging when you’ve got your high school celebrating its 25th anniversary a week into January and you’re completely aware that your right hand feverishly shot up when the question about who could make the slideshow presentation was asked. (Okay, so here’s the confession: I volunteered because I didn’t want to have to sing or dance. HAHAHAHA!)

Seriously though, I have been missing in action (shamefully hanging head down here). And I have so missed sitting with you on my blog porch, my dear friends. And I have missed my Spraground family… and I promise to never stay away this long again!

Speaking of promises…

Have you made any resolutions yet? I do mine on a daily basis (and if you’ve been coming to my blog porch for some iced tea and some nice talkies, you’d know my rationale for this)… but it’s nice to do the whole traditional new-year’s-resolutions thing… *and* blog about it so that there’s pressure to live up to it. 😆

I checked my 2009 Resolutions and realized that I failed at 3 out of 5 but passed 2! Not a great grade to get on a pop quiz, haha. But I believe in walking on the bright side of life, so I’ll be happy with the fact that one of the two I actually got to accomplish was the top one on my list! (Lose 25 pounds I did! YAY! )

Who was it who said “If you don’t succeed, try, try again” ? (It happens to be attributed to several sources… plus did you know that it was originally a maxim used to encourage American children to do their homework? Got that from a google search. Love me some google).

So here we go, my resolutions for 2010 (in which I have absorbed a couple of the unresolved ones of the past year):

1. Discover something new every day. – Learning is a good thing. A very good thing. I love learning something new every day because the excitement of that eureka moment always brings a rush of excitement (and reminds me I’m alive!).

Speaking of learning, I just learned how to use imovie and idvd in a couple of hours the other night! Gotta love that! Did I mention that I volunteered to create the slideshow presentation for the … uh… 25th anniversary of my high school batch (totally dating myself here 😆 )? The only presentations I had ever made in the past were powerpoint presentations (I know, shameful, huh?) but I knew that powerpoint certainly wouldn’t do for this big event (which is coming up in a few days, by the way).

So MacGyver (aka my mac) got a workout and I learned how to use two programs that I never even touched before. And now I have a new saying to add to my collection of  LivE Philosophies: Desperation is the mother of education. (Yes, I was beating a deadline which is what led to me learning the two programs in one evening, hahaha!).

One thing that thrills me even further about this first of my 10 plans for 2010 is that the day’s discovery doesn’t even have to be a big thing! It could be a flower that I never noticed growing in the little pot that was barren for months. It could be a new word. It could be something new that I happen to read about in A.J. Jacob’s “The Know-It-All” (I’m on page 324 in the Ts) that makes me smile.  It could be… geesh, it really could be anything!

Now doesn’t that just make the new year seem even more exciting? 🙂

2. Create weekly. – I love creating. I just take forever to do it. In my wildest fantasies I am like the Energizer Bunny (just keeps going and going and going). But in reality I get so absorbed in the process of creation that I enter a time warp and come out of it with a few new strands of white hair. 😆 So this year, I promise (as I did last year) to be more productive in less time. Promise!

3. Blog at least 3 times a week. – Ooh! This is yet another carryover from last year. I failed miserably this year, I know (picture me shuffling my feet in shame). But hey, the great thing about being alive is being able to begin again! In Latin, we say Nunc coepi: Begin now! Love that philosophy… It’s like your angel whispering in your ear: So you didn’t do so well today? No matter,  you can always begin again. Why yes! I can!

(Ps. I actually considered just saying “Blog weekly.” But hey, dream big and fly high, right? 😉 )

4. Make a layout every week. – I hardly scrapped during the 2nd half of the past year and I have to admit (banging fists on table, tears gushing down my cheeks, dramatic music doing a crescendo in the background): I miss it! I can’t even remember the last layout I made. I think it must have been during our Type+Writer 2 course. (Not counting the 3ft x 9ft poster layout I created for my 7-year-old J’s classroom… a Christmas wall decor that had me photographing and extracting 32 kids and a teacher for 3 straight nights. Phew!)

But creating layouts is one of my deepest passions. It’s how I celebrate moments in life and those I love! So I. Must. Make. A. Layout… every week (crossing fingers here).

5. Do an act of kindness every day. – Why not? Making people happy is one of the few things in life that give a greater ROI than what you put in. You make someone happy and it makes you happy too. Can’t think of too many win-win situations like this one. 😉 Serving others (the ultimate act of kindness) is easy… but to consciously make an effort to do something concrete every single day… now that is the adventure!

6. Take a photo every day. – Okay so I may regret ever writing this down. I attempted to do this last year (though I didn’t turn it into a resolution) and I failed miserably.  The funny thing is I take photos all the time! And lots of them. Just not on a daily basis. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed on this one– let’s see how it goes.

7. Be grateful for something every day. – It’s easy to think that we all have a general attitude of thankfulness, that resolutions don’t have to be made about this. But to consciously notice and pinpoint in concrete terms what it is that makes our heart sing for that day, every single day, is something that can be easily overlooked. So I promise not just to have a thankful heart throughout the year… but to visualize and verbalize and then celebrate that gratitude. That is the essence of Plan No. 7.

8. Write family once a month. – I grew up in a very close-knit family: seven kids who counted each other as our first and foremost best friends. Today we are kind of scattered across the globe. My sister in Paris and I chat every single day, something that makes me love technology that much more. But the time difference between me and my brother (who is two years older than me) is not so ideal, so that makes it harder to stay in touch. But I miss him a lot. And he is as much a genius at keeping in touch with monthly updates as I am his polar opposite (let’s see now: that makes me effectively a doofus at keeping in touch. Nice.) So I resolve to shed off my doofus costume and get my fingers working at keeping the family ties tied tight! (Say those three last words six times, quickly!)

9. Surprise a friend every month. – I like surprises (nice ones only, please. No lizards, no black furry fat spiders, and certainly, absolutely no cockroaches). When I was a kid, my dad would give me a big box on my birthday, year after year, and there was no way to tell what was inside the box because it was a generic box with its standard shape and its basic dimensions. But when I tore off that wrapper, I knew the inside would be filled with little doodads, a collection of little items that taken altogether made up my birthday gift. I loved the thought of not knowing what was inside till I unwrapped the big ol’ thing.

Today my favorite gifts come one at a time instead of in little collections, and they’re mostly bigger than the little trinkets of the past (and also, usually sport plugs that attach to my computer or my camera, mmm!). But I still love surprises, my most recent one being the that came in the mail all the way from Sweden last Christmas (more on that later because that deserves a post of its own!).

So because I think surprises are wonderful and they bring out such childlike glee, this year I’d like to make a conscious effort to bring that whee-clap-your-hands kind of happiness to a friend once a month. 12 friends, 12 nice surprises, 12 little yelps of glee. Can’t wait to do this!

10. Make a book within the year. – The summer between Fifth and Sixth Grade, my best friend and I sat down for a week or two at the country club veranda and wrote a children’s book. I kept the transcript written in our childish penmanship all these years. Yep, I still have it. It has always been my dream to publish that book and surprise my friend with it. If I actually manage to accomplish this in the next 12 months, I’d have accomplished Resolution No. 9 for one of the 11 months in the horizon while making a childhood dream a reality. So hello, Blurb. I’m going to need to learn how to work with you. (Hey! That could totally help me accomplish Plan No. 1 too!).

NOTE: Resolution Corollary to the Ten Above: I promise not to beat myself on the head and stress out if I don’t manage to accomplish all that’s on my list.

Now let me tell you, it was not easy to think of 10 for this year (I was struggling at no. 5). But 10 was my plan and I can’t flake off on the first plan of the year, right?

Three Things: A Question, a Challenge, a Gift!

So I’d like to ask you: have you thought of your plans for this year? (If you haven’t, here, sit right beside me and have a glass of iced tea while you ponder the matter. If you have actually thought of your plans… oh man, you put me to shame! And if you’ve actually written them down, then make a bit of space for me while I grovel at your feet).

Anyway, here’s the challenge part: Come up with TEN plans for 2010 (that’s right, baby, TEN :D). What do you want to accomplish this year? Doesn’t matter if they’re big or small; they just have to be what YOU want them to be. But here’s the thing: They have to be concrete and measurable. That way, it makes it easier for us to check how we’re doing throughout the year. So instead of saying, “I’m going to be nicer,” try “I’m going to smile every morning at that old man down the street whose pet rooster wakes me up at 4AM every single bloody day”. See? Now that’s a nice and concrete and specific plan! 😆

Next, write them down, all ten of ’em. (Kind of like carving your resolutions in stone, hehe). But seriously, write down those 10 plans for 2010, and if you’re comfortable doing so, maybe you can link me up to your blog or send me an email? I’d love to know what yours are!

And here’s a little gift for you if you do decide to come up with your own list of 10 for 2010:

It’s a .png file in two versions — curled and flat, with and without shadows. You can print out the flat one and write on it with your favorite ink pen… or if you live on the Dark Side like I do, you can open any of the two files on your compy and type in your ten. (Here’s a little tip: if you use a standard font and set it at 14pt, your words will fall perfectly within the notepaper lines 😉 ). Oh! and I’ve made this large enough for you to attach to a layout if you are so inclined. But you can certainly reduce the size if you want to print it out and put it in the little notebook you carry around in your bag. 🙂

You can download the freebie by clicking on the image above. And thank you so much in advance for the love you leave right here on my blog (Go ahead, click on that red Comment button at the bottom of this post; it’ll make me so happy! You know I love reading each and every one of your comments! heehee!).

So that’s it, folks! That’s all I have for today! I’ll see you again real soon, and thank you so much for your patience with my being totally remiss at coming out on this porch swing and sitting a bit with you. HUGE, no, HUMONGOUS hugs to you!

And may your new year be filled with lovely new beginnings!

Last sunrise of 2009, taken on our post-Christmas trip to the mountains. 🙂

Busy Busy Busy Bee

Wow! This has been a really full day!

I had to attend to real life stuff–cleaning out storage rooms, entertaining guests, taking care of nephew and nieces who came over to play with their cousins (my boys), and other blah blah blah stuff that would probably bore you to tears so I won’t even mention it. Regular stuff that, now and then, requires us to pull ourselves away from our beloved compy, difficult though it may be. 😆

BUT! Two interesting things, before I go back to my other deadlines.

Layout Of the Day Number 4

Am so delighted that I was finally able to finish my second Daily December page layout. Thank you, LOAD, for that proverbial kick in the butt that I needed. I don’t think I would’ve been able to finish this without the challenge to spur me on and push me down the path that didn’t have the Procrastination Street sign on it. 🙂

Thank you also, my dear Noel, for nudging me to post my LOAD layout here already… I would’ve forgotten to post it here if not for your comment! {I can almost hear you saying: What would you do without me? 😆 }

So here’s my Daily December 2, my LOAD No. 4:

Journaling reads:

ah yes, how absolutely wonderful it is to wake up to the aroma of coffee brewing on these cool christmas mornings. the precious bonding moments in between sips bring far greater warmth to the heart than the heat that rises from our mugs.


Jessica Sprague – Daily December Template + Katie Pertiet’s Topper, Mindy Armour’s Christmas papers, and Mindy Terasawa’s Merry & Bright Accent overlay (recolored slightly).

I am totally dependent on my Solis coffee making machine. I love that it cleans itself each time you turn it on and then again when you turn it off (loooove that I don’t have to clean it manually!!!). I love that you have the option to put in ground coffee or pour in beans (it has a built-in grinder that grinds just enough beans for a cup right before it starts brewing–I never use the ground coffee options as I prefer freshly ground beans). I love that it has a hotplate above where I can keep little espresso cups warm, so that I don’t have to drink hot coffee from a cold cup. I love that I can make myself a regular brew, an espresso, or a capuccino at the touch of a button.

Another thing I love are the two cups that my dear hubby got for us some Christmases ago. We inevitably end up teasing each other about which cup should belong to whom. I of course lay claim to the Nice with the halo and always assign the Naughty with the horns to my hubby. He is convinced it should be the other way around. In the interest of keeping peace, I will allow him his conviction. After all, being naughty adds a hint of spice to my personality, doesn’t it? (Ha! Though seriously, he really is much nicer than I am, and I probably am much naughtier than he is). 😉

I’m hoping that at the end of LOAD I would also have completed the Daily December album (and it will be my first theme album ever! Woohoo!)

I up and ran, I rocked, and I’m going to dig in deep!

With Jessica’s newest advanced course, Digi: In Deep, coming in March! Am so looking forward to this, because I looooove taking journeys with Jessica and my playground family. One always comes out of the class gaining sooooo much more than one could have dreamed possible. (Ask any of my playground sisters and they will easily attest to this).

I am also very excited about the upcoming Up & Running course (on its third run) that will be offered in January for digital scrapbooking beginners, and the advanced Now We’re Rockin’ course (on its second run) that will be offered in February. Read more about it in Jessica’s blog and on our playground! And for my friends hopping over here who have not taken either or both of those classes, take note of the sign-up period, set reminders on your calendars, join the throngs waiting for sign-up day, and come join us! It’s a journey you will take that will change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine–I kid you not. Everyone on our playground will attest to this.

Jason Gaylor rocks!

Just heard from Jason and he has allowed me to use his brushes for the shutters plopper that I created. So if you aren’t sick of the plopper yet, head on over for the original version (I’m thinking of giving it in a different shade so that it won’t be too much like the one you downloaded yesterday). That is, unless you’re sick of the plopper already? 😆

Thank you, Jason. You rock.

Resolutions, resolutions

New year, new resolutions.

In the past couple of years, I have not really attached importance to making resolutions on New Year’s Day, since I make resolutions daily. I believe in making daily resolutions because they’re easier to remember on a daily basis (have a little notebook to remind me throughout the day). Daily resolutions also make it easier for me to check my progress (did I fulfill them or did I fail today?), and it’s less of a letdown when I fall short of achieving them (hey, didn’t do too well on this one today; I’ll try again tomorrow).

But this year, I decided to experiment with having BOTH: New Year’s Resolutions and Daily Resolutions, for no other reason than to spice things up a bit (and also… because I may have masochistic tendencies that push me to keep loading my plate, even when it’s already full, if you know what I mean. 😆 )

Here are my New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Make a layout a day (LOAD has inspired me to do this. I may not succeed at it everyday, but I’d like to think that it’s the effort is what counts 😛 )

2. Lose 10-20 pounds. (I need to unload all that holiday sweetness that stayed a minute on my lips and took up residence forever on my hips). By the way… my sisters just reminded me–trust me to forget this–that my skipping meals (oops) was actually the worst thing I could do in an effort to lose weight. Apparently, when you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode; it says “woops, we don’t know when she’s going to shovel food into her mouth next, so let’s store all the fat we can to help her survive.” So what happens is, instead of burning calories, your body actually stores your fat to keep you warm and comfy even when you’re starving… which you are, only because you’re skipping meals.

Notice how I’m using “your body, your stored fats”… could it be an attempt for me to escape the fact that it’s my body and it’s my stored fats? 😆

3. Give out at least one freebie a week. Maybe more. (Love creating, love sharing what I create with you. Need I say more?)

4. Seriously consider finally getting that Lasik operation done on my eyes. This month. Go see the top specialist in the country on Monday. (I have always been deathly afraid of having this operation, despite the fact that two of my sisters have had it successfully, and my brother is going to have his on Monday. I am totally dependent on my sense of sight, myopic it may be, and I can imagine surviving with the loss of all the other four senses, but not the sense of sight. I would absolutely go insane without sight: how will I read? how will I scrap? how will I take photos? No eyes = No life. So I’ve stayed away from Lasik as much as I can. But… if I don’t do it now, when? When I’m too old for it to be successful? Besides, I’m thinking of how cool it would be to open my eyes in the morning without having to grope around for my glasses, no matter how cool and chic they are. 😆 Also, my sister tells me, 10 minutes after the operation, I can go back to my compy and play. How bad could that be, huh?) Cheer me on, my friends. I’ve got the resolve now, but I may not be so resolute come Monday. hehe

5. Clean and organize all the stuff in all the other storage areas. (Discard what must go and donate what is good but not used: clean out and make space… so I can hoard more stuff. 😆 ) Seriously, though: today I started with cleaning out one of the 4 storage rooms we have… and had the pure pleasure of donating and discarding. How liberating to keep only what you know must be kept, and sharing the rest, whether with the garbage collector or with needy ones!

6. Clean and organize my compy. ACDSee, we really must make friends with each other. I truly must go beyond the 10 kits I’ve organized since June. (And must delete all the useless stuff on my compy as well). This is totally daunting, considering that I have 1,100,000 GB of stuff to deal with (does that make 1.1 Tetrabytes?). SIGH. This is not going to be easy, folks. Already I’m exhausted, just thinking about it.

7. Learn some more, play some more, pray some more. (In reverse order).

8. Stop pushing things to the last minute and try doing them in advance.

I should stop here. 8 resolutions for 2008. Sounds good. Hope the results are just as good. hehe.

Okay, now I need to go… got an article to write for a big magazine that was due a week ago. Hey, that’s New Year’s Resolution No. 8 about to be fulfilled right now! Woohoo!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the other-version plopper freebie. Today, all I can offer you is some coffee. But it’s wonderful coffee (decaf for those who need it, and hot chocolate for those who don’t want caffeine), with whipped cream on top. I’ll even serve it to you in the Nice cup. 😉

Enjoy today, my sweeties! (((hugs)))

PS. Noel… the cups you want: I got them from Starbucks some years back. 😉

PS. For those who asked where they could get the awesome Scrappin’ Shoes that I wrote about yesterday: They’re adidas. I wish I could say you can find them at Target or Amazon, but… fact is, I got these from the adidas store at the mall. 🙂