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celebrating fall fashion...

Wednesday, September 30

good morning everyone! continuing on with my morning habit i established during the 21challenge...i decided to use my creativity time to come up with a digital image incorporating the cute little dolls i've recently designed and some of pantone's fall fashion colors. thank you pantone for keeping us in line with what's cool...dont' you just LOVE these colors. you should see the rest of the palette. isn't she adorably stylish!?

i hope you all have a fantastic wednesday. yesterday, i "celebrated" my victory relating to the 21day challenge by allowing myself to consume some caffeine in the form of chocolate chips and then later...i also gave into some carbs - chocolate chip "cookies". man...honestly, i felt "awful" the rest of the day. more celebrating in that sense. back on track and feeling in control today. (it sure was strange going to rhonna's site yesterday & not finding a 21challenge inspirational quote to jump start my day. i miss you 21ers...already)!

grocery store inspiration

Monday, September 28

okay - so. i don't do the grocery shopping in our home. i make the weekly list/menu and j goes. j prefers it that way. he says it's more "economical" . he says i get too hung up on the "extras" i see along the way? i'm not sure what he's talking about. but anyway. THIS weekend...he decided to "allow" ella and i to tag along with him. i decided to turn it into an adventure...kind of like a documentary of what jessica sees at the grocery store. (cool packaging, my favorite things, etc.) you with me? let's go...

not sure why? i just thought the name on these black olives was amusing and wanted to share.
i mean come you want large or do you want COLOSSAL?
(notice the actual pictures of the olives don't REALLY look that much different?)
we DID NOT buy these.

i thought this was clever packaging...
transparent top to view the cookies which also tie-in the look of the animal. VERY clever.

the baking aisle. my FAVORITE aisle....

this is my favorite brand of chocolate chips...
i'm not a "chip snob". i'll use anything that sounds delicious and looks cute.
have you seen the mini reese cup chips...haven't tried those yet. & i don't have a picture.
BUT...we didn't need any chocolate chips this week anyway.

reynolds actually offers mini designer baking cups?
i hadn't seen these before. how about you?
didn't purchase these either. just making a mental note for future reference.

then, j found a new beverage that his company distributes so we sampled it right on the spot.
(i scoured the packaging for any signs of caffeine...NONE).

oh these caught my eye. how adorable.
i'm thinking "carnival" party or a "movie night" for kids.
or how about a class party?
i didn't put these in the cart though.
(note to self - popcorn bags available at publix).

this is the 2nd one of these that i banged into with the cart.
(and it wasn't just a polite little bang either time...
it was one of those "bang and drag along" occurrences)

thanks for the nutella addiction, lannette.
you put the girls on this and then i HAD to sample it.
(NONE on this particular shopping excursion)

and this looks tasty.
"what peanut butter should be" slogan caught my eye.
(but this didn't make it into the cart either).

candy aisle!
these particular hershey nuggets are my favs...
(none purchased...thank you very much).

and i'm always curious to see the latest hershey kisses.
just when i think they can't POSSIBLY come up with something new...
BAM! how about some "chocolate meltaways" people?
("no" to these as well - it's no fun shopping with j...*wink*)

while on the subject of candy goodness...
look at this sweet little sugar stick...

onward to the produce section...
ladies and gentlemen...this sums up the fall season here in florida.
(in order to find it you must create a display). *wink*
(one butternut squash for harvest soup this week).

these totally creeped me out.
although there's certainly a demand for unusual "unique" pumpkins, etc.
i believe trying to pass off complete rejects as "gourmet" items is a bit of a stretch?
(need i mention these didn't make it into the cart)?

my new favorite cucumbers.

look at THAT packaging. "pink" mushroom cartons?
it kind of caught me off guard, actually.
i mean i appreciate the pink packaging. and let's face it, pink tends to make ANYTHING cute.
i'm not sure it's workin' for the mushrooms? what do you think?

my all-time favorite lettuce. seriously.
("no" on this item too. j had already gone to sam's & purchased 2 "colossal" sized bags of lettuce).

and of course, we can't forget the veggie spray.
(ella knows the importance of removing pesticides from our produce).

in the frozen food section, i found these to be very intriguing...
uh. wait a minute.
now that i'm looking at this a little closer, wouldn't this be considered just a "muffin top"?
so does the marketing on this product go something a little like this:
"reduce your muffin top by devouring our muffin tops - only 100 calories a pop?" hmmmm?

these would be perfect for ella's mini french bakery party coming up!
(i just LOVE the font they used for the word "mini" & even the "cream puffs")
they had mini eclairs too.
martha & amy would be so disappointed. shhh.

my favorite fruit bars & the veggie crumble for the lasagna this week.

last but not least. celebrity gossip.
looks like brad is movin' out...

and jen is movin' on...
good for her.

okay. so. i must tell you of this little ritual at the grocery store.
j has a real knack for guessing the grocery bill within "pennies" of the actual total.
i mean, seriously. this is an ongoing occurrence. it's NOT luck.
i'm usually ALWAYS wrong & j thinks it's because i don't pay enough attention to what things REALLY cost. (and he's probably...well...could be...somewhat...a litte bit right)?
so i've been working on that.
why bother telling you all of that?
j and i made our guesses.
his guess: $124
my guess: $134...

the publix monitor conveniently displaying our grocery total:

"ta dah!" did you not see that?! how about a little bit closer?

....54 cent difference!
*clearing throat*...guess i'm getting a little bit better!? *wink*
( i just HAD to take a picture. because honestly, i'm not sure i'll get that lucky again).

so you see...despite all of the "no's" and the "didn't get that item this week", we still managed to spend some money - not including the sam's trip j made prior to this.

thank you for going on the grocery store excursion with me! don't think i'll be doing that again any time soon. (clara read over the post this a.m. and didn't think it was too interesting).

hope you all have a much more interesting tuesday! make it a great week. it's my first official day "off" of the 21 challenge. WOW! it feels weird.

disclaimer...remember folks. these are pictures taken with my phone. my "real" camera is in the these are NOT examples of fine art by any stretch.

the finish line...

DAY 21 of the 21challenge is officially here. all i've got to do is keep sprinting to the finish's RIGHT in front of me. focus for the rest of today. i can almost feel the finish tape across my s l o w's a visual...arms raised in victory - the crowd cheering in the background - can you see it? sort of like the chariots of fire theme i've dubbed for today's song...*laughing* i thought the song would humor all of the other 21ers out there who have battled, struggled, persevered, endured and finally... brought it home - victory is right. here. FEEL IT! and FINISH - don't slow down. BRING IT! all the way to the finish line. we. are. there. by today's end...& with the rise of tomorrow's morning sun...we will be done. we will be victorious!

here's my art journaling from over the weekend....

(loving those "coils" i came up with - just a neat design element)

(i LOVE how the printer started running out of ink...
makes for a really cool effect. don'tcha think?)

and here's thee final art journal entry for today's picture-perfect FINISH!

and sooooo....what exactly did i accomplish over the last 21 days? there were 3 specific goals i had in mind. the first was to carve out some "me" time everyday. (at least 1 hour). i referred to this as my oxygen mask. i used the early hours of the a.m. to focus on creativity - the art journaling for the 21 challenge. let me just say: "it. was. wonderful!" it gave me just enough time to awake in the a.m. - before anyone else - and do what i love to do most. CREATE! this is a new habit i plan to continue. it's opened up an arsenal of creative energy for me. i've LOVED it.

my 2nd focus was to make sure to genuinely laugh aloud everyday - & just be positive. i'm happy to report not a day went by without the laughter! the effects have been magical for me. the "positive" outlook part of the challenge was definitely more of a struggle on certain days...but when i saw myself choosing a different path - i was able to quickly turn myself around. AWESOME!

and then the 3rd challenge i was faced with during these past 21 days was to avoid sugar, caffeine & carbs. (what was i thinking)? *wink* it. was. difficult. but i DID it. i got through it. and i could not be more proud.

i've learned so much about myself. thanks rhonna. thanks fellow 21ers! we ROCK!

*original art work available from rhonna - just click on the links above the art journaling.

"5" - where will you be?

Friday, September 25

you have SOOO got to check this out! i think i'm going to watch this every morning to jump start my day. SUCH inspiration!!! (just click on the link below).

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"conQuer" day 18

good morning! it's day 18 of the challenge. only 4 more days left. (i will be celebrating come tuesday)! the focus word: "conquer". what a perfect word & perfect timing to help us, (me), push through to the end. it's friday - and i'm struggling to convey the same energy i had yesterday. (i went back and made "good morning" huge and colored it orange to help get me going - whatever it takes). i've got a great attitude - i'm looking forward to the day, i know i will succeed...i'm just looking for the same energy i had yesterday. hello? energy? where are you? i know. music! music always helps fill me up. sooo...i immediately thought of the song "lose my breath" by destiny's child. focus soley on "can you keep up?" and the awesome "band-type drum playing" in the background. makes me soooo want to march strong to the finish. okay - that music helped me. how about you?

let's "conquer" the next 4 days! who's with me?
Happy Friday! Hello Weekend!

*did you see the "mini cuteness" post from yesterday? scroll down. it's soooo schweeter!
*get the original artwork from rhonna - i just added my own touch to it.

mini cuteness...

Thursday, September 24

quick post just to showcase some things i've been working on. no details today. more information to come. (know that these are still a work in progress - need to add arms to doll, finish dress, etc.) for now - they were just too cute to NOT share...enjoy !

in the midst of all of the mess...look at the cuteness (ahhhh!)

here's a close-up of that adorable paperclay cupcake & wire chair i made last week.
finally painted and "stickled it" today
i thought the "doily" was the perfect touch.

here's a closer look...see the "stickle" sugar?
here are the two together - as they should be.
love her! love the cupcake! love the chair.
i'm awesome, if i do say so myself!
thanks for looking - & there is a purpose to this cuteness. (shhh...don't tell ella - but it could something related to her upcoming 1st birthday party?) shhhh...*wink*

"bOoM BoOm POW!"

so originally i changed up the music on my blog to reflect the message in my art journal was the theme to rocky. (you know: "finish line", "strength", "victory", "focus"). however, i believe a remix of the theme is due because it felt sooooo 70-ish that it didn't reflect the enthusiasm behind the energy i feel today. soooo....i picked one of my favorite songs to exercise to instead. it always seems to kick me in "gear" when i hear it - so i hope it has the same effect on you today.

let's STAY motivated...let's keep this challenge ROcKin' and for those of you who may not be feelin' it today...let me help pull you up like you've done for me on the days i was a bit low...cause i'm FEELIN' it today. we are almost there... DO NOT give up. we've GOT THIS!

* go here to get your very own artwork from rhonna!

i reached for the chocolate chips...

Wednesday, September 23

yes people. yesterday was somewhat of a struggle for me. (for whatever reason). as i mentioned in yesterday's post, i just felt a little bit out of steam. by day's end, i actually grabbed the bag of chocolate chips with full intention of eating a handful. but i quickly put them back. (ok, i actually tossed them with a little bit of force, back into the baking pantry while stating aloud a very firm "no! i'm NOT going to do it!") *wink*

with that HUGE "win" under my belt, today is a different day. i feel proud of myself for resisting the temptation and i emerged from yesterday's struggles with this knowledge:

- i am stronger than i give myself credit for.
- "credit" is not something i give myself enough of.
- stress is linked directly to my eating habits.

i've realized the connection between my stress and eating just recently. (well, over the last few years actually). but yesterday, i think it REALLY sunk in as to how "often" and how much of a habit it's become in my life. it was a "real" eye-opener for me. i'm grateful for the lack of steam yesterday. the motivation i feel today BECAUSE of my ability to push through the obstacles that were before me yesterday, certainly makes up for whatever i was missing.

here's my art journaling for this morning:

the checks & balances this 21challenge has provided me all along the way has truly been my saving grace. the other 21ers out there have all been so supportive and inspiring. i hope on the days i've been "up", i've been able to help motivate others because i've certainly relied on their strength throughout. thank you fellow 21ers. (and rhonna. girl. 10 miles yesterday? you are certainly an inspiration to so many - in such a variety of ways - thank you).

have an absolutely wonderful wednesday!
(BAM! i finished exactly before 7a.m. - my deadline)! i'm good.

black line art provided by rhonna & colored/decorated by ME!
the colored quote in the lower left also provided by rhonna and can be yours as well. just go here!


Tuesday, September 22

it's day 15 people. (honestly....shhhh....keep this between you and i....i'm losing steam). there. i said it. but it's ONLY 6 more days. that's what i keep telling myself. i'm fully dedicated to continuing the "laughing outloud" everyday and "putting on the oxygen mask" too. BUT - the no carbs and no sugar is suuuccchhh a struggle. it's difficult. VERY difficult. what my goal will be at the end of this journey is just to incorporate those elements with a very systematic approach. slowly....but surely. *wink* no. seriously. my biggest challenge will be to overcome my desire to "make up" for lost time, if you know what i mean. (bear with me here - i'm talking outloud & you just happen to be a part of it because you are reading this - *wink*) the point of the 21 challenge is to establish NEW habits. this isn't about just "getting through" 21 days to fall back into old patterns. THAT'S what i've got to remember and take with me from this experience.

anyway - back on track. here's my art journaling.

"it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan" - eleanor roosevelt

i've been getting up between 5-5:30a.m. every morning, (except on weekends), to make lunch for j but then also to have some sacred quiet creative time. i print the inspirational quote from rhonna each morning and then give myself until 7a.m. to work on it. promptly at 7a.m. - (well, USUALLY promptly), the rest of the house is ready to rock n' roll - ema getting ready for school, ella wanting to get up and eat & clara helping with ella during my transport of ema to school. so....that dedicated morning time has been soooo necessary for me. i refer to this as my "oxygen mask" & i definitely plan on using it on a continuous basis. ( i may change it up as the need arises, but the point is to carve out some time where i'm doing something that brings me absolute joy and fills up "jessica, the person" - not jessica, the mom/daughter/partner/sibling, etc.).

anywho - scanner beds take all the fun out of glitter, mirrors & anything shiny or "bling-worthy". so, unfortunately, you can't see the glitz all over today's art journal post. it's got such a "royal-esque" feel to it. (notice i used purple which is symbolic of royalty)? i actually cut rhonna's art up because i printed it too large - which then allowed me to tilt the crown and have the scrollwork come in front & in back of the "wish" part. i also used "glimmer mist" from tattered angels & spritzed the background. (thanks dina, for making me take the free sample from cha). and then i used "metallic rub-ons" to add the purple accenting to the scrollwork. one of my favorite things to use to make things "special" are "stickles". on this page, i used "icicle stickles". (again, you can't see it because of the scan).

enough about that. here's some exciting footage that i know the grandparents are going to eat up! (please excuse ella's attire - she was not dressed fashionably for this momentous occasion, as it occurred just before bedtime lastnight. (no headband? no pants - for cryin' outloud? & a shirt that's getting too small?...nice). OH! and be sure to scroll down & pause the music so you can enjoy the video.

i love that clara and ema were cheering her on - those were THEE most consecutive steps she's taken, to date. we were a little bit excited...can't you tell? (unfortunately, j was in the other room on the phone - but at least we got it on video for him)! yea!!!

enjoy. i must tend to little ella-pie - she's taken her 20 minute nap and is ready to get up?!

twelve, thirteen & FoURteEN!

Monday, September 21

we are on day 14 of the 21 challenge! over 1/2 way there!
here are my art journal entries that correspond:

( i struggled with this one - don't really like the end result - but clara liked it).?

(like the colors in this one).

according to clara, this one looks like something a grandmother would hang on her door. *snicker*
(i don't like it much either. was going to redo it but then i thought - "4 get it")

okay then. so onto the weekend recap:

uncle mike came over on saturday to visit. WITH THIS:

mike surprised us with lunch! almost $150 worth of artery clogging grub!
he DID get j and i salads since he knew we are still on our 21challenge.
(clara and ema had NO qualms about diving right into it).
thanks uncle mike - you are always so OVeR-tHe-tOp...we love you!

and then on sunday, i was forced to endure the temptation of THESE:

clara made a batch of her infamous chocolate chip cookies. (she's been making these weekly & selling them for $1 each at grandpa kirkland's office). the jar was completely full and you have no idea how badly i wanted to empty it! (and so did j). but we didn't. nope. we were strong. we are doing really good.

now. onto my monday duties. here's hoping we all "concentrate" on whatever goals are before us. whatever it is. we CAN do it!

all black line art images courtesy of miss rhonna farrer!


Friday, September 18

just wanted to share a little something i've been working on...

isn't she lovely? she's got some friends too...but i'll keep them a secret for right now.
inspiration came from lollipop workshop - again. (remember the clothespin dolls the girls made a week ago?)

happy friday. have a LOvELy weekend.

the half-way mark

how BAD do you want it? that's rhonna's question/prompt for DAY 11 on this 21challenge journey.
"in order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure" - bill cosby

DAY 11 - "DeSiRE"

so, as i sit here, knowing i have exactly 4 minutes left before i need to wake up the girls...i ask you. is YOUR desire greater than YOUR fear? i know mine is. let's conquer our fears and achieve whatever goals we've got in front of us. we CAN do this. whether you are "officially" participating in the 21challenge, we're ALL 21ers as far as i'm concerned - let's DO this!

here's to a great weekend of goal-reaching & staying strong!

supplies used:
word art from rhonna
black pen
scrapbook paper sent with bluemoon package
water color pencil

"live" with "enthusiasm"

Thursday, September 17

i'm officially on "day 10" of the 21 challenge. i am moving right along & staying strong. admission: i grew quite weak with my "eating portion" of the challenge late in the day yesterday. i was famished! thoughts of devouring the carb-laden goodies in the fridge & pantry were swirling around my brain at top speed. BUT i resisted! (high 5-ing all of you other 21ers out there)!

i've made sure to genuinely laugh outloud everyday - one of my other goals - & it seems to usually be with ema or ella. i need to work on that with clara. AND... for my final goal, i've maintained a positive attitude/outlook everyday - for the most part. 2nd admission: i got a little snippy in an email the other day - i got an unexpected confirmation receipt reflecting an "unauthorized" charge to my account and i thought i was dealing with one of those companies where you never really talk to anyone who can make decisions...they are out to deliberately rip people off. anywho, the girl kindly put me in my place & when i realized it wasn't what i was thinking i quickly & sincerely apologized. oops! very embarassing & humiliating...i felt like the biggest jerk).

having said that...let's move forward - i am happy to announce i'm completely caught up with my art journaling...take a peek:

(you should see this when the curling ribbon isn't smashed against the bed of the scanner -
it's totally fun & crazy and 3D - it's sHoUtiNg EntHuSiAsM, isn't it!?)

and drumroll please...

"live out of your imagination not your history" - stephen covey
rhonna came up with a cute "tag" for the quote today - thus inspiring the "gift" concept.

i'm sooo wonderfully excited to be caught up 100%...but especially excited to be moving right along with all of the other 21ers out there!
have yourself a merry little thursday - and "LiVE" with a ENtHuSiAsM"! people.

oH! one more thing - the next extra $25 i get i'm "investing" in this! (& i DO feel it's an investment...)!

squeezed one more in...

Wednesday, September 16

so i got a little extra time today to complete day 8 of the 21 challenge. now. all i have to do is complete day 9 - today's prompt. (that way, when i awake at 5a.m. tomorrow morning i'll only have ONE 10 - i'll be caught up. wait! did you hear that? i'll be caught up!

thank you pandora radio for seeing me through my early morning, late-night & now, mid-afternoon projects. you rock!

green circle image from the infamous rhonna farrer!

supplies: tissue paper, black pen & luminarte paint.

"imagine" your "development"

onto day 9 of the 21 challenge! can you believe it? i'm so proud of myself for staying so strong. trust me, i've had my moments...but i didn't give in. this is sooo super huge for me and for my "development". i've made sure i've reached all 3 of my goals. every. day. i've laughed outloud....which therefore makes it easier for me to look for the good & be positive which then pushes me to be good to myself and continue to make good healthy choices. see how they are all connected? this has been such a great experience for me. (creatively, emotionally, physically). i couldn't have been this strong without all of the other 21ers out there who are posting their stories and support. HUGE thank you!

so, somehow i skipped right over posting the "imagination" prompt for day 4?
so here's day 4. so cute. don't cha think?

and then because i'm behind on my art journaling, here's day 7. "development"

i now need to do the prompt for day 8 and today's prompt: "enthusiasm"

b&w word art images, "imagination" & "develop" are courtesy of rhonna farrer.

supplies used: watercolor pencils, black pen, paper punch, tissue paper, glue
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