March 8, 2016
by lili_ana

spring cleaning

Back again from our mini vacation! It’s been a fairly crazy past two weeks and I’m trying to do some housekeeping! Both in real life and in blog life.

One thing that needs some attention is this blog. Not sure what kind of refresh I’m going to give it, but I know I am going to try and use Evernote to track and plan my ideas. Seems they tend to get written down and then stashed in a purse never to be seen or heard from again. Never a good thing. Many lipsticks have suffered this fate as well. In any case, spring cleaning/housekeeping however you want to call it, I’ll be doing more of that. 

Hubs always tells me to write things down to make sure i get things done and I have tried this, not always very successfully. I saw something on bloglovin’ about using evernote. All the guys at work swear by it for tracking their notes on work stuff, products, defects etc. and I think it’s worth exploring. We are getting further and further away from writing things down, and the idea of having access to things from multiple devices etc. means I’ll never lose an idea because i don’t have whatever applicable notebook etc. I still love the old fashioned pen and paper approach and will still do that, but I can put that in Evernote too. So we’ll see how it goes. 

I’ll have to do a proper post about our trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was wonderful! (mostly!!)

February 25, 2016
by lili_ana

coming up soon

This week I signed up for the corporate 5k. I am very driven by the possibility of a free t-shirt. :-) Work covered the race entry fee and now, I have a goal. Although I intend to walk it, it will be good to have something to train for. Today I printed up one of those couch to 5k training plans. And just getting it done! My main goal is not to hurt myself and the secondary goal is of course to establish a new habit. This month in our OLW prompt was to schedule a practice, but I didn’t do it this month. I don’t usually read the prompts right on the 1st of the month so I missed a few days before i got around to looking at the prompts. Luckily, I can just use this prompt any time. I’ll be doing the 5k with some friends from work which will be fun. I also found out that as part of my work life benefits work covers up to $112 per quarter towards a gym membership reimbursement and this now covers YOGA! I’m so excited! 

I know I have hubbies support with all this now i just need to stick to it. 

More details about the 5k can be found here: 

So Excited!!!

If I stick to my training schedule I’ll treat myself to some new kicks for the race. Goal Set!

February 18, 2016
by lili_ana

my journey with art

I really love art. Doodling. Drawing, you name it. I never thought I was very good, I probably wasn’t. If only the desire to be good at something was enough, or rather that the greater the desire the more likely you were to succeed. (There should be a magic pill for this by now? Instead we have hoverboards? wtf) In any case, I love art. It was one of those things that was not encouraged when i was young. After all, art was no way to make a living, art wasn’t going to feed you, pay your bills, and ON TOP OF THAT, artists were seedy, shady people, who likely did drugs, or hung out with people who did drugs. Well, this is only what I remember from my childhood. I had conservative parents, who worked hard to put me through private school, and who’s main mission in life was to protect me from all the supposed evils in the world.  It was a doomed mission, luckily for me.  

I guess this got stirred up for me while watching a video that popped up per chance in my youtube feed. Wow. I mean, what a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece. It captivated me so completely. I’ll probably have to buy a piece or two. Lately, I have felt sad, emotional, suppressed, repressed, stressed? I can’t nail it. But these images moved me for a reason, even if that is a reason i am still figuring out. #mustbuyalltheart. 

I don’t think it’s ever too late to learn something new, to tap into that creativity that’s lain dormant for so long. Luckily for me, I can enjoy it even if I can’t create at this level. And I can return slowly, even if that’s entry level doodler status. It’s important for me to encourage myself, just in the same way that I plan to encourage my child. The world is full of possibilities for her, and so too for me. This is a glaring contradiction to what i hear from my own mom regularly. I want to be consistent with my word and it all begins with me.

I have no idea if i meant to go this deeply… but sometimes that’s just where the words go. 

So, here’s the art that moved me:


Here is where you can buy it for me, I’ll take one of everything thank you <3. 


Here is a place that has art classes on Friday nights for adults and Saturday mornings for kids. 

The Art ROOM


I should get a couple of good pencils and a good eraser. I have a couple of portrait books i can play with and practice. Even if it’s just for fun. It makes me happy.

February 16, 2016
by lili_ana


Started a blog post last week, but never finished it. If you’re thinking i’m going to talk about it now… well, nope. LOL This one is completely about something else. I mentioned in an earlier post this year that I wanted to maybe do a youtube channel, given that i love watching youtube videos about scrapping and crafting etc. But today, I realized why i would actually NOT enjoy that… I haven’t been on facebook since 2013. I wrote about it then and now we are approaching the 3 year mark (I quit on March 1st 2013), life keeps happening and it happens with a LOT LESS frustration and annoyance? Competition? Passive aggressiveness? Hurt feelings? All of these are things that I’m pretty certain no one expects from facebook, but I can’t say i know anyone who hasn’t felt the dark side all because of that one wretched program/site etc.

Anyways, i’m rambling. I know what i want to do is engage with others, other peeps who like to be creative, other peeps who know what it’s like to juggle life, and who know what it’s like to lose sight of yourself or your goals in the midst of life’s stress and and mounting to do. Creativity is supposed to be an outlet. Most of the time i joke with my friend schmidt (picture me, clutching my hair in both clenched fists) CRAFTING IS SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING. A great many times, that is NOT my experience. I am working on limited time, with limited supplies, and with sometimes, limited mental bandwidth. I am wanting inspiration from the divine muse who is clearly NOT on my schedule! And then the shopping, Schmidt called it sad shopping. It’s so true. Shopping is the new cookie/donut/chocolate bandaid. Not one i can afford.

In any case, (eventually, i’ll get to the point) I found this post on Suse Fish’s site and it made me glad that someone had written down what i thought and felt. Feels so great not to be alone. But it was really THIS POST that made me veto the youtube thing. I found that at the heart of things, youtube would turn into that same facebook thing, “like me”, “validate me”, “how do i fit in”, ” how many likes/followers/subscribers” ETC. Not saying those are exactly Suse’s reasons, but just ones that I thought of just now.  But this one, this one actually had me engage a little bit with the outside world, so much so that i actually liked it out loud. :-) Unusual for me, as i’ve been more of silent observer.  In any case, I’m aiming to engage more. To create more. And in general to do more of what makes me happy. As Ali Edwards mentions in the OLW, my goal is to SHOW UP. Both in the class, and in LIFE.  As always, i’m a work in progress! and what’s more I AM OK WITH THAT! <3


February 1, 2016
by lili_ana

the month of love

Wow, February already. Can’t believe how the time is flying by. The saying goes that time flies when you’re having fun, but I guarantee you it can also fly by when the opposite is true. I haven’t been having a fun month. I have been trying to find joy in all the things around me that I love and that do make me happy. But lately, I feel like it’s harder to be happy. The prevailing feeling is frustration, anger, anxiety, moodiness, fear and guilt tinged with shame. None of which are particularly pleasant, mind you. It’s been a long time since I felt this way, and this adds to the frustration. I thought I was past this stuff. I thought I was stronger than this and better able to avoid the patterns and behaviors that lead me to this place. I guess, as with anything, without the proper practice and training, you forget the coping skills that keep you from slipping. 

I keep wanting others to be kinder to me, be nicer to me, reinforce me, uplift me etc. So much of what I believe comes from the outside. Naughty, naughty! After all, what you think you become right? So really, I have to believe nice things about myself and as of late, I haven’t been very compassionate towards myself. I realize this, I suppose that’s step one. I started to really see the extent of my slump when even things that I wanted to do, stressed me out! I mean, it’s hard to want to be perfect all the time! In my creative space, I’d feel overwhelmed with how long it took me to do something, “I suck at this” is a phrase I’d say all the time. Where is my compassion? I’m learning something new! Where is my patience? Where is the loving kindness? Maybe, and I can only guess, I am giving so much of it away that I don’t have much for myself? I haven’t found the way to fill myself up. 

I have tried to plow through things that give me a little bit of angst. One being the art journal. I started a couple of pages in there and have had the thought that, OMG this is terrible, or  I don’t know what i’m doing. You name it. But, I try to reassure myself that it’s fine, I’m just beginning. I see the value of art journal, as the feelings it triggers are mirrored elsewhere in my life. I know I’ll find the balance somehow. But right now, everything is a little murky. Be nice. Be nice, even when you don’t feel nice. And most importantly, be nice to myself.  I guess that’s my mantra right now. 

Deep breathe and moving on.



January 14, 2016
by lili_ana

mid-month update

I usually make a post about my yearly goals and I realize i haven’t gotten around to it yet. I have ambitious goals, so I better write them down so I remember what they are! Although, I don’t often reach them having a running list of things means I may get to them some day.

I bought an art journal recently. I still don’t have my paints, which I desperately want. I have started budgeting for my crafting so i don’t go too crazy. I direct deposit my allotted $ to another bank account so i never over spend. I’m waiting for this to get set up and then I’ll have to prioritize what I pick up next.

I love, LOVE, LOVE watching artsy youtube videos. I wonder what it would be like to make one and i think it would be fun to do. But, then i think about my work process and realize i haven’t mastered anything worth documenting yet. If anything, I think it would be nice to film like a newbies guide to art journaling and have it include all my trial and error and second thoughts and frustrations. But we’ll see, it would be nice to do but it’s not the most important thing on my list.

My main project that I try to update on a regular basis is my project life.  I am almost caught up with 2015. I won’t be buying any more stuff for PL and when my studio calico subscription for the Documenter Kit ends i won’t renew it.  I like what I have received, but i am not deeply inspired by it. My spreads have a lot more pictures than journaling and I have a ton of core kit cards that I can use up. My goal is to work through what I have and try and get creative with it. 

I have been  printing all my pictures at home with my canon pxma which has been fine for a long time, however, this takes a lot of time. And i don’t have a lot of time to scrap/craft. I’m wondering what life would look like if i just sent out to have my pictures printed for me. It would mean that I could spend the craft time actually crafting and not laying down the groundwork for a different day. Not sure if I’ll do this, but it’s on my mind. (Not sure this is a goal so much as it is something i want to learn more about.)

I signed up to do the One Little Word project which is run by Ali Edwards. I dig it. I used to journal quite a bit and I like the idea of having a word to focus on this year. My word for year is BALANCE. This word really resonated with me and demands to have a larger presence in my life. As with all things, practice makes better. And in all things, wouldn’t it be nice for my little lady to one day read about my thoughts and know what her mama was thinking and feeling? I think it would. 

I would like to take a class that is specific for art journaling or water color. I have found a couple of things that seem interesting, but I’ll just want and see if I would rather use the money on products or classes. Wouldn’t make sense to take a class that requires materials i don’t have. 

And as always, there is the struggle to keep my craft space clean. Always a goal for me! Never quite a reality! 

If I had more time I would:

Make some art for the house.- I have found some really cool stencils that i’d love to play with. Haven’t purchased any, but it’ really tempting. So many cool things. 

Hang our pictures: – Have all my pictures in drawers. They would look nicer on the walls. Sadly, I am terrible at precise measurements and i hang things crookedly. I still have art that i bought for the nursery, that I never got to hang up. It’s never too late. I guess at the heart of things, I’m afraid to do a bad job or to hang in the wrong place. Not sure there is a need to have so much fear about something so inconsequential, but that’s just me. Analysis paralysis.



1. Art Journal

2. Make YouTube Video

3. Use up Project Life Core Kits

4. Print PL photos using third party: snapfish? persnicketty?

5. Take an art class.

6. Make some art for the house

7. Hang pictures


I could go over the previous years goals, but suffice to say, most of them haven’t been met. I may give up on using my DSLR altogether. It’s bulky and heavy. I may switch to using my husbands smaller Sony. We shall see, but at least I have made a note of the things I’d like to do.

January 4, 2016
by lili_ana

Happy New Year!

It’s January 2016! I’m so happy to be starting a brand new year. Last year had so many changes, it feels like since the end of 2014 I’ve just been on a roller coaster of change and for the moment, 2016 seems to be calmer, without any big changes planned just yet. I’m embracing the calm.

Our widdle wose bud is now 1.5 years old she is talking more and more every day. She has a sweet personality but is also fiercely independent and she knows what she wants. For the most part, mommy is good at deciphering her cues, but  lawd have mercy if i do not guess correctly. Luckily her melt downs do not last long. He latest thing is to grab your hand and drag you in the direction she wants you to go, mostly to the front or back door. She points and says, “outside”. I’m happy to do this on most days, but it’s harder on days like yesterday, when it was chilly and raining, concepts which are LOST on a toddler I assure you. Luckily we always seem to make a good go of distracting her. I’m happy to see how much she loves to be outside. She is a keen observer of the world around her. She is a snuggler and a cuddler but she is not overly clingy. I believe she has confidence in herself and the knowing that mommy and daddy are always close by to keep her well grounded. We have ourselves a happy baby, and this effect rubs off on me. 

As a family, we are still working to sell our old home. I’ll be very happy when we do not have that burden any more. The last year has seen me change jobs 3 times and although in one sense I have returned to a familiar workplace, there is a lot of change in the air. I’ve been in a funk for a while and i’m trying to manage stress a little better. It’s always hard to do when life is carrying you along, and even harder when you are not even aware of it. I haven’t had much time to focus on me but it is very important. Otherwise, I can’t be there for others. Don’t have any really answers on how I”m going to take care of me, when I have to take care of my family, but I do know I have to find a way. When I neglect myself for too long, I get very grumpy and unhappy which I guess is why i’ve been in a funk.  In any case, that’s my goal for this year. Balance. 

Although I have never given much thought to the whole “One Little Word” movement, if i had to choose a word for this year Balance would be it. You can read more about the One Little Word project on Ali Edward’s blog here. I am finding a lot of peace in doing creative things. Creativity has sort of become my teacher. Through creativity I’m allowing myself to be inspired, and to do something with that inspiration, to make beautiful and imperfect things, and to cast off some of those limitations I have put on myself over a lifetime. I’ve always said that I’m a student for life always learning. And although there are times when I HAVE NO IDEA what I’m doing, i owe it to myself and my little one to give it a go. This is the attitude I want her to have, so as always, I must lead by example.  

Projects I’m working on this year:

Project Life – Memory Keeping. Documenting. However you call it, that’s what i’m doing. It’s a combination of pocket pages and 12×12 layouts. I don’t have any confidence in filming process videos. Even though they are sped up quiet a bit, I haven’t found a style that I consistently follow. So basically, they take me a while to do. Practice makes perfect, so I’ll keep at it. Yesterday, I decided to print out a contact sheet style print for the PL spreads. I was getting tired of trying to decide what page protector to use etc. I take a lot of photos. Sometimes I embellish, sometimes I struggle. When i do I remember, this is supposed to be fun. And if it’s stressing me out, I stop and trying to get some perspective. Maybe I’m over complicating it and need to refocus. There are times when just picking the pictures and printing them take a long time. I know some people send them off to be printed. I’ll have to consider whether this is worth it. I don’t get a lot of time to craft, and when I spend most of it picking and printing photo’s, it’s a bit wasted.

Mixed Media – I like the idea of texture and water color and all these other elements which can’t be fully controlled or predicted. I try to incorporate them in my work as often as I can.

Silhouette – I love this cutting machine. I want to do more with it. We have plenty of walls around the house that could use a bit of art. I could easily make some of my own when time allows.

I’ll try to make better use of my pinterest boards this year. Actually putting some of the inspiration to use, or some of the recipes to use.  

I’m excited about the year ahead and I’m happy I get to share it with my husband and little girl. These two are the sunshine on a cloudy day. 


December 2, 2015
by lili_ana

some highlights from Thanksgiving

I had the crazy idea to cook for the whole family this Thanksgiving. Let me tell you it was quite the undertaking! But since I love to please people and my hubby loves to cook it all turned out very well in the end. Part of me was just super excited to wow the family in our brand new house and I guess the other part wanted culinary control. Last year hubby prepared the Turkey in our old house and we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of 3. It was quiet and private and it was perfect. This year I wanted to make the turkey because I made one a long time ago which was a huge hit. My hubs and I joined forces, he brined the bird over night and I prepared the herb butter and slathered that bird inside and out. We didn’t open the oven for at least 4 hours and then only towards the end when we were waiting for the family to arrive.

One of the best things though, was the gravy! Hubs started that over night. I think he followed the Pioneer Woman recipe and made homemade stock and it was delectable. This Thanksgiving will certainly go down in the annals of all Thanksgiving meals. We kind of split the menu down the middle. I made the sweet potato’s and the cranberry sauce and for dessert I made my Dutch Apple pie.  Hubby made the gravy, greenbeans, and for dessert a Cheesecake. The family wanted to contribute also, and so we delegated out the tasks of stuffing and mashed potatoes. My sister makes this really yummy corn casserole that I love. And I almost forgot, hubby made an addition Cuban style pot roast. There was soooo much food. It was wonderful.

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November 30, 2015
by lili_ana

the things i carry

Everyday I carry the same things with my to the office: My headphones and my Kindle. I use the heck out of these headphones and I’m proud to say,  i scored a major deal when i ordered them. I paid $218 and I recommended them to lots of my work peeps, but the price is now about $300. They’re the Sennheiser PXC 450. Love ’em. I go through the battery pretty quickly but I use the noise cancelling feature all the time. It’s an absolute must considering my work situation. 

The other item I carry around with me is my Kindle. And it rarely gets any love. I haven’t really fallen out of love with it but I haven’t loaded a book on it in a LONG time. I last purchased a book for it a few months ago and haven’t gotten around to reading it. I love to read but I find it hard to sit down and do so on a regular basis. It seems the only place I have an opportunity to read uninterrupted is when I’m at work, at lunch obviously. That’s only an hours worth, mind you. I have a few books on my shelf that I have been meaning to read for some time. One such book is the Autobiography of Alice B. Tolkas by Gertrude Stein. I have it at my office now so that I always have something to read. I was reading most of my books on the kindle app of my ipad but by the time we make it to bed my love is craving for lights out and it’s not long before my books are watching me, if you know what I mean. 

Aside from scheduling a little reading, I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. Hubs is always saying to me that I have to schedule the things I want to do. I am always fighting this. Schedule = very regimented and boring in my opinion and i’m more of a by the seat of my pants kinda gal. But I suppose, i should give it a go if I plan to get back in touch with my literature loving side. The ideal conditions don’t seem to present themselves often: alone in a quiet house. I’m pretty sure that’s a distant memory. Better learn to read under different conditions haha. Or read whilst wearing my headphones! bahahah

Right now, the scrappy, project life side of me is taking a lot of my free time. Eventually I will get more efficient at it and it will take me less time to accomplish the same things. I guess it’s all about finding my creative style. For now, I’m still sampling inspiration from youtube videos and such. I catch a few videos when I’m driving since it’s a way to relax during my 45 minute drive (2x a day). If I read at lunch, that could be a nice balance. The other thing i need to find some time for is to 1. charge my old Iphone 2. Put some cool playlists on it 3. Add a few walking meditations (maybe?) and 4. set a silent alarm on my fitbit for 5 AM. If I can score a 30 minute walk before work I think it will be a good thing.

I think i’ll get started on this tonight, find and charge old iphone (an Ipod would probably be lighter and better, but I don’t have one of those). I have copied my entire itunes library onto our SAN since i hardly used my music library, so the next parts would be a bit harder. I guess I could just use my own Iphone and possibly a meditation audio book? Hmm… let’s see what’s out there!

Those are the musings of my head right now. I was picking out books for my nieces Christmas presents and then of course, i distracted myself. Can’t be helped! 

Oh I should probably recap Thanksgiving, but I’ll get to that tomorrow when I have had a chance to pick a few pics to share. 

November 23, 2015
by lili_ana

Scrapping by

Tired but inspired! I tried printing on vellum the other day expecting it to not turn out so well. But in fact it turned out pretty good! The vellum page curled a little bit but otherwise perfect.

I picked up this navy card stock the other day when Michaels was having a sale, I think it was 6 for a dollar. Couldn’t pass it up! In any case, navy is one of my hubs favorite colors. Well, I think it is based on the amount of blue and navy items in his closet. In any case, the navy reminded me of him so, I thought I would use it on a scrap book layout of our wedding. This isn’t finalized yet but the placement is probably not going to change. I want to make sure I pick the right adhesive to use with the vellum since it’s so transparent. I love our wedding photos!!

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure hubs wore a navy shirt on our first date. It looks so good on him. Ok enough swooning.

Need to find a way to shussh this up a little bit. I’m thinking some gold alphas and a few more accents. Trying it to be too matchy matchy but my paper is a little bleh. At most a little gold glitter would be a good way to bling it up.
I’ll have to keep thinking about this on. Ideas that come to mind include a little splatter, but I don’t have white or gold which think would go lovely on the navy. And I’m trying to find another complementary color for navy and gold besides red and green. Off to explore pinteres for more inspiration!