Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scrapbooking Projects

I thought I'd share the digital scrapbooking pages I have created with my Memory Mixer software. I'm still new with the whole thing, but I love creating the pages to give as gifts. I do wish to create an album of our first year of married life, but have yet to begin :) My biggest dilemma is deciding what type of paper I would like to use or what embellishment would look best - then taking the time to look at everything I have and search online for more. I think I just need to give in and buy the online themed packets here and there when I see something I like rather than spend hours searching. I might try to do another page later today.

I printed these size 12x12 and bought nice frames from Michael's. My mom loved it and has them hanging in her craft room!

When my dad saw what I had created for Mother's Day, he said, "You know, that would make a great Father's Day gift." I took his advice and created pages for him too. He has yet to see them because they weren't quite ready for Father's Day. Dad will get them this weekend. :)

I created this page last week for the girl I've babysat since she was an infant (5 years!). I'm going to miss her very much when we move. It's placed in a white frame and will match her room perfectly!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Where Shopping is a Pleasure"

My how we will miss this beloved grocery store when we move to North Carolina. In fact, I miss it already. If you have never been to a Publix, and happen to be in the southeastern US, then do make a stop in one and here's why...

You see, the husband and I decided to shop at Wal-mart {shudder} for groceries when we were first married because we assumed it was the more frugal option and being newlyweds, we were in it to save money. If you've ever been in a Wal-mart, at least here in Florida, it is pure chaos! You go in with a "get in - get out quick!" mentality. Oh, and need I mention the loooong lines? Or how when you opt for the short DIY checkout you almost always end up waiting for assistance? :( Have you even tried to squeeze down the bread aisle? [insert other frustrations here]. As my husband puts it, "Crazy people don't go to Wal-mart. Nobody is crazy before they get there - Wal-mart creates the crazy people." Agreed, agreed. Now don't get me wrong, I still choose to frequent the store for craft supplies and other various items when necessary, just not for food. One day I expressed to Matthew how instead of going to Wal-mart for our grocery shopping, I wanted to go to Publix - where shopping is a pleasure (I have to add that in there because it's so true!). We've been there many times before when we needed different items for a particular recipe or wanted better quality produce, but for a time Wal-mart had our $ due to the convenience of the location on our way home from church. We put an end to that madness!

Grocery shopping can be quite a chore, but when I go to Publix I admit that I honestly feel fine, even good, about going! You can't beat the friendly workers either. What about prices, you might ask? Well, with plenty of BOGOs and amazing coupons for great quality products, you are doing yourself a favor by skipping out on the chaos elsewhere. And if you still aren't convinced, please check out their website... My favorite is checking out the Season's Peak portion of the site where I can read about the fruits and veggies in season, as well as find recipes of what to do with them. You may wait in a long line every now and then, but guess what? It's ok because you're at Publix! Yes, it's true, I heart Publix. Call me crazy, but I walked into the store yesterday for the last time and left knowing I just had to pass on the goodness! I could go on, but I'll spare you the grocery talk :)

And Publix, if you're out there in the blogging world, pass this plea on to the big guys upstairs...

Dear Publix, We will miss you oh so very much. Please come to North Carolina so the Taflans can enjoy grocery shopping once more (sigh).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Job Searching

"Do you have a job lined up for when you move?" is a question both of us get asked at least once a week since we announced our decision to move to North Carolina a while ago. We understand we aren't exactly doing things in the "normal" order - like not having a job before we move to an entirely different state and leave our other jobs behind (scary, I know!). We do know that this is what God has planned for us, meaning He will most certainly provide as He always has. God is the source of the comfort and peace we feel about making such a big decision - although I'll be honest and say that there have been times here and there when I have a moment of brief panic about not being able to support ourselves! Thankfully my thoughts are redirected by Matthew's solid thinking or through scripture.

Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Ah, see? We'll be taken care of :) I put this verse in a frame when we were first married and it's one we have both come to memorize upon seeing it on a daily basis. And along the lines of being taken care of, Matt established contact with a video production company this past week when we were in NC. He met the owner and left feeling quite good about the connection. This company has seen his work on his website and would like to use Matt to edit some projects beginning as soon as we move - starting off on a volunteer basis like most free lancers do to get established. Once he's shown them what he's capable of, they can hopefully use him regularly and pay too. Yay! Aside from that, we're working on marketing TaflanPictures for wedding videography in the local Raleigh/Greensboro area.

Where do I stand in the job search? Well, I sent out 10 applications to Wake County yesterday. It's a bit far from where we're staying, but that'll be fine if I get hired! These 10 were in addition to about 8 I've sent out to other counties. My NC teaching license is now official so that will definitely help the process. Time to wait and see...

Keep us in your prayers as we continue searching for work and listen for God's voice through it all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sing a Happy Working Song

All right everyone, time to tidy things up

Come my little friends
As we all sing a happy little working song
Merry little voices clear and strong
Come and roll your sleeves up
So that we can pitch in
Cleaning crud up in the kitchen
As we sing along

And you’ll trill a cheery tune in the tub
As we scrub a stubborn mildew stain
Lug a hairball from the shower drain
To the gay refrain
Of a happy working song

We’ll keep singing without fail
Otherwise we’d spoil it
Hosing down the garbage pail
And scrubbing up the toilet

How we all enjoy letting loose with a little
While we’re emptying the vacu-um
It’s such fun to hum
A happy working song
A happy working song...............

Today I set about cleaning the apartment as we prepare to move out next week. I am sure you are wondering if I wore a beautiful ball gown as I scrubbed the tub and vacuumed the floors. Well, sorry to disappoint but, no, just a knock-around dress. Did wild animals come to assist me in the chores? No, but my birds carried on pretty tunes while I worked :) If you haven't seen Enchanted I would recommend it as a cute, fun movie that leaves you feeling happy and wanting to sing. My happy working song today was singing along to whatever came across the radio... And to make cleaning even more interesting, or should I say to give me some motivation, I decided to create my own cleaning supplies using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, soap and oils. I have a small assortment of cleaning supplies already, but decided to step away from the chemicals for our sake and the birds, as well as instill a new, positive habit of using something more natural and less harmful for cleaning (not too mention it's pretty cheap and versatile!). Here's a photo of my new stock of supplies...

Like the gloves? I thought I'd treat myself to something pretty for cleaning. I now have carpet stain remover, bathroom tile/tub spray, and an all purpose spray that I'll use in the kitchen. The vinegar left over can be used most anywhere, as well as the baking soda. Our tub is sparkly and the kitchen smells fresh. I plan on giving the rest of our old cleaning supplies to someone who could always use extra items for a downtown organization she manages. I'm looking forward to making more items like this in the future!

*If you'd like to know how to make your own household cleaning supplies, you can go to this link below. I've recently become quite the avid reader over at Young House Love (very inspiring) and I can bet you will be one too if you aren't already :)

Young House Love: All Natural Homemade Cleaners

Happy Cleaning!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Carolina Bound

A suburban, one trailer, and 15 hours later my husband and I arrived at our destination in North Carolina on Wednesday. We were blessed to borrow a trailer from a friend at church and spent ALL day Tuesday loading the thing. It was SO incredibly hot and humid - as in over 100 degrees. Of course, this is expected in Florida, but a little break would've been nice. We managed to move all our furniture ourselves and leave behind a small portion of what will be needed when we go back for two last weeks of Florida living. Here's a photo of the accumulation of boxes in our family room with the exception of furniture already loaded in the trailer. It'll be crazy to go back and hardly have anything left! Matthew said it'll make our next trip seem like a breeze.

Oh, I can't forget to mention the little fact that this trip is really only supposed to take 10 hours... with a trailer we drive slower of course, but with a broken alternat0r which leads to a dead battery means no driving at all. Yes, we were stuck at a rest area 2 1/2 hours away from my parents' house for an hour(thank goodness it was there and not on 95!), then managed to get the car jump started and drove on little to no battery for another hour before deciding that it was too dark to not turn on our headlights... which we were avoiding using because we didn't want to suck all the life out of the battery. We managed to exit to a gas station, as the lights on the car were slowly dimming and waited another hour for AAA to bring the tow truck. Thankfully, my dad was in a very late meeting only 15 minutes away and happened to have a hitch on his truck so he could take the trailer, and the birds, and us home. What would a girl do without her dad? Needless to say, my dear husband fixed the car himself the next day and it appears to be working well. I am quite proud :) Guess the true test will be tomorrow when we drive it 650 miles back to our apartment... God has us in His hands that day as it could've been a whole lot worse!
The night before we left we added a new feathered friend to the family. Meet Monte (pronounced monty) - at least we think that'll be his name. We had several ideas, but Monte makes the most sense given that Altamonte is the city of our first "home" together and Sunny is already named after the Sunshine state. He is a blue parrotlet, which is the smallest parrot in the world. We had discussed getting one before to keep Sunny company during the day while we're at work, but didn't have easy access to any. I just happened to be at the pet store dropping off the last of the gerbils (thank goodness they are ALL gone!) and they had just weaned parrotlets in sky blue and then the darker blue. Our family may think we're crazy for getting another bird, but we didn't feel like it was a bad idea and having a friend for Sunny will be good. I guess that makes us bird people? We hope one day the birds will like each other, but for now we have to keep them supervised at all times when they're both out of the cage. Our Monte has a lot of character already and is much more active than our Quaker. He's a big bird in a tiny body! And he was quite a trooper as his first full day with us was spent on the road to NC. Our birds will have some miles on them!
Isn't he cute?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vacation Home

This past Christmas, my parents bought us a vacation home. It's not just any vacation home... it fits in a large bag, is portable, allows my 6'5 1/2" husband to stand inside, and takes approximately 24 minutes to construct. Check it out:

Isn't our tent lovely? The bag it is toted in made us laugh when we saw the words Vacation Home and the cottage style windows in the front. We were thrilled to have a tent of our own - which meant no more borrowing or sleeping in our suburban when we felt like camping. Each month we looked ahead at weekends that might be available for camping so we could use our new tent, but none worked out until Memorial weekend. I had given up even trying to go camping until after we moved to NC because available weekends had diminished and the FL weather is steadily creeping up to unbearable. I came home one evening last week and my husband had all the camping gear out with a note saying, "How about camping this weekend?" I couldn't resist - even if it was for just one night.

We chose to camp at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine (no, not the picture above ;). It was one of the state parks I had on my list of places to go and it just happened to have Sunday night open! We left right after church with our bird and all to begin the hour and a half drive. It was definitely worth it! The campsites are great and the opportunities at the park are numerous. We set up our tent in record time, explored the beach, cooked dinner over the fire and stayed up late in the tent playing card games. Sunny didn't seem to mind camping much. He didn't squawk incessantly which led us to believe he was content - even with the incredibly loud insects surrounding us. And guess what? I didn't forget the pillows this time! See first camping post here.

Sleeping through the night wasn't too pleasant as a rain storm approached and seemed to last the ENTIRE time I was supposed to be sleeping. I was lying on the air mattress (which we have yet to make it comfortable) praying no thunder and lightning would approach or else I'd have to sleep in the car. Thankfully, we had only rain, and lots of it. In the morning we were pleased to find just a small puddle in a little corner as opposed to a wet mess - it's fixable.

We awoke to a very warm morning, ate our muffins, and headed to the park shop to rent us some bicycles. It was fun riding around observing others' tents and RVs, soaking in good ideas for our next trip. I hadn't ridden a bike in a while, or with my husband for that matter, and I thoroughly enjoyed the activity. We forgot to take a picture though. Oh well. Guess we'll have to do it again!

Here are a couple pictures from our 24 hour visit to the park. I'm glad we got to go and I recommend the park to anyone in or visiting the Florida area. It's definitely worthy of a long weekend stay.

see our kite up in the sky? :)

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