Monday, October 31, 2011

My Memories a layout a day: Halloween 2

Today's layout uses Pumpkin Flair, a free embellishment pack from My Memories. I got an email with a link to download. If you sign up to get email updates, you can get these free packs, too. The link I got is here, but I'm not sure it allows more than one person to get the free download.

Usually the part that takes the longest time for me is checking out each kind of paper and embellishment, because there are a lot to choose from. It's easy to use a predesigned kit and just plug in your photos, though. This layout is based on a photo layout without any embellishments. I added the Pumpkin Flair (the little pumpkin faces), "Happy Halloween" from the Halloween card kit I downloaded, and pumpkin stripe background paper. I also used Word Art for "Trunk or Treat 2008." The whole thing only took a few minutes.

The giveaway is still going on. You can win your own copy of My Memories Suite v2 digital scrapbooking software. Giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 2, which is 11:01 p.m. Tuesday night for people in my time zone (Central). Two entries are required: Visit and leave a comment in my blog entry here with the name of something you like on their website, and "like" My Memories on Facebook. Use the Rafflecopter entry form to let me know you have done these entries. Other methods give you more entries, but are not mandatory.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Memories a layout a day: Princess Diva

I think this scrapbook layout came with the My Memories Suite. I downloaded a lot of free templates and papers, but it's not on my list. (Forgetful me, sorry)

I didn't add anything to these except some text in the last page shown:

There is plenty of room for text here. I would recommend putting a shape with a color that matches or complements the colors of the background paper, then putting your text box on top of that. You can group those two elements and move them around together.

Cayla has no idea I've been using pictures of her for these layouts. Shhh! Don't tell her!

You can enter my giveaway for a copy of My Memories Suite v2 digital scrapbooking software here. There are two mandatory entries - you must "like" My Memories on Facebook, and you must leave a comment at this blog post with a My Memories product that you like. You don't have to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, but you can get extra entries if you do. But you must do both mandatory entries to be eligible for the prize.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Memories a layout a day: Christmas tags

I thought I would try a different template - this one is a free download at

As  you can see, all you do is double-click on the picture box (or circle) and browse to a photo. You can also add the names by using text boxes, but I like handwritten names better (unless your handwriting is really, really bad). :-)
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of My Memories Suite v2 digital scrapbooking software. And if you don't win, but buy it on your own, you can save $10 by using this code when you check out: STMMMS22597.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Memories a layout a day: Vintage

Today's layout uses a template to create an album with different page layouts and photo positions. I modified these pages a bit, changing the size of the photo boxes in one and removing a couple of photo boxes and adding a journaling box to the other. Other modifications are noted in the captions.

This layout uses a burlap texture for the background and word art for the name.

The background for this one is turquoise large stripe paper.
For a complete album, I would probably use different background but a similar color scheme, as much as possible.  But with My Memories digital scrapbooking software, each page could have a completely different background or you could them all the same.

Go to my giveaway and enter to win your very own copy of My Memories Suite v2 and you can create your own digital scrapbook.

You can also visit My Memories on Facebook, "like" the page and click on VIP exclusive. You can download exclusive content beginning every Friday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Memories a layout a day: Halloween

During the giveaway week, I'm going to post a layout each day using My Memories digital scrapbooking software.

Today's layout is barely today, because I actually work outside the home and was in town for about 12 hours today, so I didn't have time to tweak my layout and get it uploaded until very, very late. But here it is:

Halloween times 2.

Simple background, one of the Halloween background papers offered. "Halloween" is done with the Word Art feature.

Same photos, text and word art. I put a black background behind the words "Cayla's hand" to help it show up better against the busy background. This paper comes in different colors, and there are more "batty" papers to go with it.
You can download free papers and embellishments at, and you can also purchase paper packs or layout sets.

Also? My configuration: (refurbished) eMachine with Intel Celeron 2 GHz processor, 1 gigabytes of RAM and  53.3 gigabytes of hard drive space. I am definitely not running this on a new, high-end machine, but My Memories Suite v2 runs just fine. If I'm trying to use it and have an open browser, it sometimes gets real slow until I close one or the other, but that's the only problem I've experienced.

Skip over to my giveaway and enter. There are two mandatory entries and four optional entries. You could win a copy of My Memories Suite v2.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Memories Suite scrapbooking software

I was recently asked to do a review of the My Memories Suite scrapbooking software and the good news is that one lucky ready will get a copy of the software for their very own!

From My Memories website:

My Memories Suite Version 2.0 digital scrapbooking software is a fun and creative way to keep and share memories, whether you have a Mac or PC. The software's design tools will help you to build entire albums effortlessly using one of the many installed templates, or designing your very own pages from scratch.

Available worldwide. Intended for English-language computers. Technical support is English-only.
You can do a lot with My Memories suite. You can lay out a full scrapbook of several pages following a template and just plugging in your photos and embellishments from the digital scrapbooking software. You can just create a couple of pages - or only one at a time - and follow their layouts or create one completely from scratch. You can make cards and calendars, as well.

I played around with the software for a bit and here's what I have come up with:

This is very simple, just a prearranged layout, some photos and a little text.

I have added a color background, some embellishments (A Day To Remember, a button and stars), and a shape with a paper backround (heart).

Again, fairly simple but with the stars, button and "One of a Kind" embellishments added.

The background came from a free download, and I added Word Art (Cayla creates) and played with some of the options.
I played around some more and created layout a day: Thursday, Halloween; Friday, Vintage; Saturday, Christmas tags; Sunday, Princess Diva layout; Monday, Halloween 2; Tuesday, Grumpy Cat.

You can download free kits and sample pages at Even the sample pages are worth a download, because they may contain embellishments that you will want to use in other pages.

And there's a giveaway! One person will win a copy of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software to download. There are two mandatory entries and four optional entries, including tweeting once per day. The giveaway is live now and ends at 12:01 a.m. EST on November 2, 2011.

PLEASE NOTE: Two entries are mandatory. You must "like" My Memories on Facebook and you must post a comment listing something you like on their website at If you don't do both mandatory entries, you are not eligible to win. I tried to keep it simple for people to enter. Use the Rafflecopter form below for your entries. If you don't see it, wait a bit to let it load.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the software for the purpose of this review. I also signed up as an affiliate and will receive compensation whenever someone purchases the My Memories v2 scrapbook software through my referral code: STMMMS22597. (Purchaser will save $10 on the purchase of the software suite. This does not apply to the Wedding Studio or Photobook Studio software.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

There's a dead skunk in the middle of the road

Did you ever play that word game as a child? It goes like this:

Savvy first person: "There's a dead skunk in the middle of the road. I one it." (You explain to the other person they say "I two it.")
Unsuspecting second person: "I two it."
Savvy first person: "I three it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I four it."
Savvy first person: "I five it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I six it."
Savvy first person: "I seven it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I eight it."
Savvy first person pointing and laughing: "You ate it! You ate the dead skunk! Hey, look at who just said they ate a skunk!"

Unhappy second person: "I want to do it again but I want to be first this time."
Savvy first person: "Okay."
Unsuspecting second person: "There's a dead skunk in the middle of the road. I one it."

Savvy first person: "I two it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I three it."
Savvy first person: "I four it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I five it."
Savvy first person: "I six it."
Unsuspecting second person: "I seven it."
Savvy first person: "I jumped over it and you eight it! You ate the skunk! Hahaha, you ate another skunk!"

Usually at this point the whole thing degenerates and eventually bandaids are involved.

Or in my case, "I ran over it with my car and now my car smells like cooked skunk."

Still, two days later. (This happened Monday night on the way home. Crunch.) Then on Tuesday I drove over to Webster City to help a friend set up a couple of websites and there was a dead skunk on the side of the road on Highway 520. On the way back to Fort Dodge I took D20, which is old Highway 20. Another dead skunk. I haven't seen any yet today, but the day's not over. I just hope I only see the dead ones, on the side of the road, and not disturb any live ones or run over any more. Not fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Pigs Must Fly"

I suck at writing book reviews. Really.

But I do want to tell you about "Pigs Must Fly" by Edna Flannigan.

Iris Haugsdahl has suffered all her life. No one would ever call her attractive, and when she left high school to marry Urbb, a much older man, people didn't care, except to speculate that her parents paid him off with farm land.

Urbb wasn't abusive, but neglectful. His passion was his dairy farm, and his favorite cow was Enola - "she had Swiss written all over her," Urbb had said.

When Urbb is invited to a VFW convention in Las Vegas, Iris urges him to go. And when Urbb dies a few weeks before the convention, Iris goes, on her own for the first time in her life.

There she meets Kitty Velour, a transgender lounge singer who inadvertently reopens old wounds. Kitty tries to make it up to Iris, with unexpected results.

Added to the mix are the neighbors from back home, Forky and Netta Stimple, and things get a little crazy.

"Pigs Must Fly" is an enjoyable read. I could identify with Iris, and feel her pain. But there's also a bit of things turning around, of karma making things right.

I do recommend this book. If you know me personally, I can loan you my (signed!) copy. If you are in the Webster City area, you can get your own signed copy at a book signing from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Romancing the Home, 707 Second St., Webster City, during Ladies Night Out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lessons learned

Every weekday that school is held (and not delayed because of weather or whatever), I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. and usually spend the next 1 1/2 hours getting Cayla awake, out of bed, into the shower and out the door for early morning Seminary (a scripture study class at church for high school students). She is always late, except on the days when she completely misses it - like yesterday, because I didn't want to drive in dense fog.

Most of the time, I just stay in my pajamas - sweat pants or old exercise pants, and an old, raggedy T-shirt (I have several to choose from). When I get home I usually go on the computer for a bit and then roll back into bed.

Today, Cayla was pretty wide awake - due to the fact that when she got home yesterday she went to bed for a one-hour nap and didn't wake up til this morning. I dozed off after my alarm went off at 4:30 and woke up again at 5:35. She was ready to leave. As we left, she mentioned that she needs a calculator for a math test today. Had I known this yesterday, when I was at the dollar store, I could have gotten one then. She said she would try to borrow one at school.

We were on time today - and by on time, I mean the teacher hadn't opened up the church yet, and other people were waiting to get in. So I dropped her off and I went to Walmart to buy a calculator. I think only 4 or 5 people saw me, and I held my hoodie closed. But still kind of embarrassing. I don't want to end up on People of Walmart.

Lesson one: Cayla learned that her mom loves her enough to go to Walmart in her pajamas to buy her a calculator when she needs one.

Lesson two: Cayla's mom learned to always, always, get dressed from now on when driving Cayla to Seminary.

Now I'm going to roll back into bed while it's still dark.