Happy Mail for Monday, November 26th 2012

Hello! I sure hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family enjoyed a quiet weekend at home, which means, of course I did all the cooking myself, but after being gone a week and with everything headed my way, it was just what the doctor ordered–and we had LOTS of leftovers. We went to see the new Spielberg movie, Lincoln (highly recommended) and we put together a super-hard 1000 piece puzzle of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. My children now think that I am Abe obsessed, it’s rather humorous!

Speaking of the EVERYTHING headed my way, I’m just slightly FREAKING OUT about the list of stuff I need to do to be able to leave for Hawaii in two weeks!! I am working on my personal yearbook project, so that I can teach it and I am making tons of little videos to share in the classroom. Anytime you do something for the first time, there is a LOT to learn and right now it is all those extra little (last minute) details that have my head spinning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m over-the-top excited, but I am also 100% maxed out. PLEASE tell me that you are signed up for the online portion of this event — trust me, it will be well worth your time, money and effort — that that order. The project itself is super easy, but I am absolutely head-over-heals in love with it. I LOVE gathering photos that highlight a year and putting them together in one inviting and  quick-to-digest album  and there are some very happy touches to this project. I find myself smiling when I think about it. At this point in my scrapbooking career, that has got to be a good sign!

I am still loving the concept of Happy Mail and the very fun campaign that we (BPC) and Doodlebug are doing to make the world happier, one handmade card at a time. Learn more HERE.

I did (accidentally) blow off my weekly card-making last week, but I’m back on track this week, with a time-saving option. Remember, I am the girl you look to for simple, realistic solutions, right?! Rather than make 14 different cards, I designed two cards and enlisted my wonderful Lauren to duplicate them seven times each. See? Solutions!!

Here is the first card. I gave you a little peek inside, where the message reads … I’ll be home for Christmas! This card is going to:

Cathy in Delmar, NY
Barb in Aurora, CO
Stephanie in Downington, PA
Tonya in Grantsville, UT
Colleen in Dardenne Prairie, MO
Heather in Coconut Creek, FL
and Jennifer in Burnsville, MN

And this is my second card. Everyone needs a “Get Well” card on hand, right? This cutie is going to:

Sharon in Houston, TX
Susan in Edmund, OK
Loretta in Raymond, IL
Jane in Leominister, MA
Leanne in Wellington Point, OH
Liz in Louisville, KY
Megan in Apex, NC

Have a VERY happy week.
And by all means please share your BEST “how to get ready for Christmas when that is NOT your focus until Dec. 15th tips”!!


  1. SO smart! Why not? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel all the time, do we? :)

    Um, good question about Christmas. Simplify? We do 4 gifts per kid–something to wear, something to read, something you want & something you need. Maybe have your kids make a really detailed wish list and then on the 15th you can order it all from Amazon! :):) Date night = last minute shopping for stocking stuffers, etc.? lol

    And maybe put each of your boys in charge of planning one Christmas tradition that they love–an event or activity like baking cookies, etc. Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, of course, but it seems to take up a lot of my time & energy to figure out gifts for everyone, and then I feel like I’m missing out on the rest of the season. So why not let the family help plan and carry out their favorite traditions?

    I can’t wait for 12/12/12! It will be fun! :) Thanks for all your hard work! We appreciate you!

  2. Jennifer C. says:

    First off, I just want to say that I am loving that get well card! Gorgeous!

    Getting ready for Christmas, good question. Well, every year I get as much shopping done before Thanksgiving as possible. Obviously the stocking stuffers are counted in the items that wait till in December. If there is any present that I am missing by the time Thanksgiving is over, I shop online. I have way too much to do to be trying to get through lines at the store for something. I prefer to have it shipped straight to my house, by then. I can find what I need faster online, and get to other things on my to-do list by doing it online.

    I also never make any special goodies until around the 15th. I know that I won’t get them out the door till the 20th, and I don’t want them getting stale waiting to go to their respective destinations. And, I usually spend one whole day making all the goodies (with my family). Then the following day we package it up, and again each person gets a job to help out and it is done assembly line style.

    I wrap all the gifts the day after I deliver the goodies. This keeps me from stressing about them, and I only have to wrap something that shows up after that day.

    At our house we have a special breakfast tradition. I make sure that everything is purchased for it by one week out. I don’t like to be trying to find something 2 & 3 days before when everyone is at the store doing the same thing, because usually something is out of stock. I prep anything that can be prepped the day prior, so that I can get up and get breakfast ready in under an hour.

    Decorations is about the only thing that I do at the beginning of December, other than follow along our advent calender. All of mine will be up by the first weekend in December. Oh, I do make & send Christmas Cards. I usually start making them at the beginning of December, and mail them when we are out delivering goodies.

    As far as parties, due to our work schedules and kids’ school schedule, we never attend anything during the week. We usually get invited to several throughout the weeks prior, but we just politely decline anything going on during the week. We will attend something on Friday or Saturday, if we have a babysitter providing one is needed. And, we keep Sunday for our family time.

    I realize this is a long post, but I hope it helps give anyone ideas or help with their holiday planning.

  3. I’m so excited about the 12/12/12 online class! I’m signed up, got all my product in & my album organized…just need to get my pictures ready. I. Can. Not. Wait!!!

  4. I’m loving your 12-12-12 ideas and hubs and I totally discussed the possibility of HAWAII – but we have this group of friends [4 families] that have done their best to get together every year [we were all in Disney on 01-01-01] on these once in a lifetime dates and it’d be kind of cruel to leave them hanging here in North Alabama while we were on sunny shore somewhere, wouldn’t it? Ha. we’re doing a fun progressive dinner at a local upscale shopping center – should be very festive.

    AND we have the youngest graduating from college between now and then!

    I have Christmas decor ideas in my head, but nothing has come out of the attic just yet…hopefully — before the graduation – lol. But you know what? One year we were traveling and had an otherwise busy time, and the best I could do was pull the tree out [we have a walk-in attic] into the playroom and plug it in. No ornaments – just lights [had to have a back-drop for present opening - lol....] SO my best advice – just GO WITH IT – and enjoy each day!!!

    Still loving your cards, btw!

  5. Lists (lots of them) and delegation of tasks (which requires some letting go)

  6. I’m signed up and excited!

    I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that I just bought a copy of your first(?) book, Simple Scrapbooks, and I stayed up way too late last night reading it and filling my notebook with album ideas. In an industry that puts so much emphasis on keeping up with trends, I love that I can read a book from 12 years ago and feel so inspired. Thank you!!

    • wow! thank you. I am definitely not a trend-setter or keeper uper (how’s that?) the best part about the ideas and concepts in that book is that YOU can update them and put your own personal spin on them!

      • I’ve already started working on a guest book, I love that idea! I think it’ll be cool for us because we get a lot of visitors from Norway who stay for weeks at a time…and we bought a new house this year, so it’s the perfect time to start the album.

        I’ll also make a “romance” book for my husband for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary, documenting our relationship – definitely one of those things I think our future kids will love to read through!

  7. I have 4 suggestions for you:
    1-Gift cards. Not everyone appreciates a little card instead of a pile of gifts (mostly your kids probably!) but most kids probably won’t mind.
    2-AMAZON!!! Free 2 day shipping with a prime membership (surely you have one, right?!) and they sell almost everything. You should have a few hours on the plane to & from Hawaii, so make some lists of ideas and then cyber shop when you get back.
    3- Get help with wrapping from your husband / nanny / friend. Also, buy lots of bags and skip the paper. Much easier!
    4- Coupons. Again, kids might not like them as much as actual presents, but giving your husband a coupon for a special dinner or backrub or your friend a coupon for lunch out after the holidays might be a good, quick, and still meaningful solution.
    5- Food for the neighbor/teacher/coach gifts. Spend a day baking or buy a bunch of gift cards to a local bakery / relatively cheap but nice restaurant / ice cream shop. Or make a bunch of ice cream sundae baskets or something fun like that.

    Hope that helps a little!
    I so wish I could go to HI with you all, but not in our time budget this year. Maybe next time! Have a blast! I’ll be with you online on 12/12/12 and have loved being in your 12 class this year.

  8. Karen Schmidt says:

    All I can say is lists…. Shop as much as you can online. Hopefully when you get to the stores you can find everything you need. My sister lucked out like that..

    I’m up for the class on 12/12/12,. as the time goes on the kids schedule for that day is getting busy plus its my daughter 5th birthday. I can’t wait for the class.

  9. That would be my advice too. Let the family help. Every day another person can plan an activity like Rebecca said. And you plan a DVD night for the boys on the 12 / 12 / 12 with icecream and popcorn – so they had their fun too. You can be sure to keep them quiet ;) and you`ve also plan a day.

    Buy an Advent calendar and a wreath instead of making one. Keep it simple this year.
    My daughter has her first flat and every Advent Sunday she get a bundle. One with decor for the living room, one for baking (flour, sugar…), one for the kitchen with recipes (and noodles, sauce, rice etc.), and one thing for the bathroom. So I only had four packages for four Sundays (could be 1.a dvd, 2.a cinema ticket, 3.candys or 4.an usb stick too).

    I`m looking forward to the Hawaii Event on the 12 /12 /12 – that will be my Advent calendar this year. Thank you so much for your hard work!

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