About Me

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Hi. I"m living in the Northeast with my supportive hubby, 2 great girls and toddler son. I run a home based business around scrapbooking and rubber stamping and love everything about those crafts! I also work p/t as a Physician Assistant in Internal Medicine...back after a 10 year hiatus to take care of the kids--loving that, too!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

X is for Xperience ;-)

Ok, I'm cheating, but the prompt I HAD for X was X-Y chromosome and well, I had planned on writing about Adam (and maybe some other boys), but unfortunately used it up for "O"-offspring.  So Xperience it is!

The type of experience I'm talking about is the kind that comes from doing.  Well, I guess that's all experience, but it's especially important to me because of my "One Little Word" this year...fearless.  I promised myself that I would undertake any and every new endeavor with an attitude of being fearless.  When I thought more about this, I started to figure out what makes something fearFULL.  For me, that's a sense of inability, or inXperience.  So, what helps me become fearless, is knowing that in a fairly short time, by doing whatever it is that I fear, I will gain Xperience and hence, lessen the fear.

This year, I've had a lot of things to practice becoming experienced (and fearless). There is my weight loss journey with The Belly Fat Cure...yep, 22 pounds and holding...now need to get motivated to keep the momentum going.  Then there's the fact that I may be returning to work in the very NEAR future.  Albeit, p/t, but nerve-wracking nevertheless.  Then there's overcoming the childcare issue.  And on and on...

...and to the rest of you...remember that XPERIENCE is built by just going out and DOING!! So, let's see how 2011 wraps up the rest of the year...here's keeping my fingers crossed!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

U, V, W....ARE FOR...

UNACCEPTABLE that I've fallen off the daily blogging challenge, but thought I would catch up by talking about the VALUE of family WALKS! With the warmer weather (more w's) setting in, I always thinking about ways of getting in my exercise while trying to get outside.  I really wish we could get into the habit of taking family walks after dinner every so often because they are so enjoyable.  Recently, we headed around the block with Adam out of the stroller and he did great!  Just as the sun is setting is the perfect time to get some fresh air and do the body good.  A more challenging version of family walks is hiking.  Yes, we are past the letter "H", but hiking is a ton of fun too.  We are so committed to trying to get outside that I actually signed up our entire crew for the recreation department hiking group that meets monthly from April to November and hikes various trails throughout NJ and PA.  Our first family hike was this month.  Unbeknownst to us, it was a "short" 4 mile hike up the side of a mountain at a very steep incline.  Although it was strenuous beyond belief for me, poor Leena struggled with an asthmatic cough and Mohammed had to deal with Adam on his back.  We completed the hike, but warned our guide that he had better lighten the load next month.  We'll see about that!

Monday, April 25, 2011

T is for...TROMBONE

This year my oldest started intermediate school and by doing so, it was the first year she could pick an instrument to play in the school band or orchestra.  Now, Yasmeen is not a classical kind of gal, so I didn't expect her to pick violin or clarinet, but TROMBONE??? Now that was a surprise.  So she shows up at the first band practice and picks up her instrument, and guess what...it's almost as tall as she is.  Turns out that another friend also chose trombone and there are now 2 girls in the 5th grade walking around with huge trombones on practice day!  Yasmeen really likes it and practices often...however; sometimes (and just sometimes, Yasmeen...if you happen to be reading this), it sounds like a poor beluga whale sending out a distress call.  She has improved immensely since the beginning of the year and will be attending band camp this summer, so she is very excited.  As for us, we are excited that she's found an instrument she loves and hope she gets better at it every day.  After all, did you know there is some college $$ out there for FEMALE TROMBONISTS????  Woohoo...you go girl!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

S is for...what else....SCRAPBOOKING!!

So today I get to talk about one of my passions.  I have been scrapbooking over 9 years and haven't looked back once...I love everything about the craft.  Love how you can combine numerous crafts into one...like photography, writing, stamping, painting, blogging, sewing, etc... I was introduced to it by a friend when I went out with her to a girl's night out and at the time, I was all about science, medicine and logic and thought that this craft was unusual at best, and at worst a waste of time.  Once I sat and opened my mind to the possibilities of creativity while preserving our family's milestones and everyday life, I was hooked!  My style has definitely changed along the way, but one thing that remains is that I love (mostly) straight lines and more of a graphic composition.  I focus mostly on the story, which means I'm heavy on the journaling and have been known to write my story and fit my layout around it. I can get inspiration from just about anything in my day-to-day life...like color combos from my kid's clothing catalogs and design inspiration from ads on television.  I have even used song titles and lyrics on my pages and  I pour over the scrapbook websites and print magazines looking for layouts to "scraplift"--a term used in scrapping circles when you copy someone else's work either in its entirety (topic, color combo, design, orientation, etc) or simply use parts of it as a jumping board for your own creation. I also enjoy reliving memories that have been captured that I know I would have long forgotten had it not been for the art of scrapbooking.  So for those of you who look at scrappers with a raised eyebrow thinking to yourselves "what in the world are those crazy women doing?", well...you're missing out and should really look at it again with an open mind.  You can start here or maybe here or if you would rather jump right in and take a class, then look over here and find one that suits your needs.  And if you happen to be someone that already knows the joy that it is to BE a scrapbooker, then maybe you'll want to join me as I create a LayOutADay (LOAD) in the month of May by clicking here.  Below I've shared some of my favorite layouts of all time (well, probably just in the past year-LOL), but they are some of my favorites and were a ton of fun to make.  Thanks for looking and have a SCRAPPY DAY!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for...READING

I have wholeheartedly rediscovered my love of reading in the past 6 months or so and get so excited that I usually have 3-4 books going at once.  It all began when I picked up a book that was 1/2 price at Borders called A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson.  I thought the topic sounded good, but really didn't have any idea about what I was getting into.  I just wanted a book that was affordable, portable (I take it with me in my bag) and that sounded interesting...and any outdoor/hiking type book made the list! Turns out, it was a fun read...informative and humorous at times, too!  It was about a man's attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and since reading it, my interest and desire to hike parts of the trail was piqued! From there, my sister passed along her copy of Eat, Pray, Love telling me I'd enjoy it...and I did.  When I finally had a chance to see the movie, it paled in comparison.  These 2 books were a turning point for me since my usual genre of reading material is self-help.  I figured if I was going to take time to read, it should really be something that could "help" me out.  The funny thing is, reading for pleasure is helping me immensely. It calms me, relaxes me, broadens my knowledge in many areas and has sparked new dreams and desires.  Since reading these 2 books, I've picked up a couple of more fiction based books and am enjoying them completely.  That doesn't mean that I've given up my self-help list of books on my "to read" list...it just means that I've widened my circle of interest.  To keep track of all of the books that are of interest to me, I've recently discovered Goodreads.  Here I can not only keep track of the books I want to read, and have read already, but I can also look up reviews for books that interest me and leave reviews for the books I've read.  Goodreads is a great resource worth checking out if you share a love of reading like I do.

Have a wonderful day...and don't forget to pick up a book!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for...Quotes! UPDATED!!!

Yep, today I'm going with the obvious and sharing some quotes I've found that are inspiring or meaningful to me.  Hope you enjoy!!

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away

- Shing Xiong

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. 

- Dr. Seuss
Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.

- Randall G Leighton

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."

- Alexander Graham Bell

Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.

- Luke

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today

- James Dean

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." (Michelangelo)
Isn't that the truth???!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for...Physician Assistant

Something that you may not know about me is that I am a Physician Assistant.  You probably don't know this because I am not currently practicing medicine.  In fact, I have never practiced in New Jersey-although I have been employed in both North Carolina and New York.  Ever since Yasmeen was an infant, I said goodbye to my scrubs and hello to parenting.  Soon after, Leena joined our family and most recently, Adam.  Now that Adam is two, I have been toying with the idea of returning to medical practice.  Although I'm torn about the implications and complications that working in medicine again  might cause in our lives, I'm also excited about the possibilities ahead.  It's been a while since I have been employed outside the home in any capacity, and at times I miss the camaraderie and energy I would find in the workplace.  Of course, I also am aware that I would miss being here for the kids any time they needed me, and for Adam right now...that's every day, all day.  He's still young, so I haven't made any definite moves into the work-a-day world, but have been putting out feelers to see how I would be received "out there" should I choose to go back to work.

It's been almost 15 years that I graduated with my Masters of Health Sciences from Duke University.  Back then, I could have never predicted that my professional life would have been put on hold to raise a family, but through the support of my dedicated husband, that is exactly what I did.  I love being a stay-at-home mom and am grateful every day for the chance I have to be here for my kids.  When the time comes to focus on my career once again, my hope is to find a practice that complements my commitments to both career and family.  

For those of you not familiar with the role of a Physician Assistant in medical practice, PA's are specially trained, mid-level providers of medical care that are able to diagnose and treat disease, as well as write prescriptions (including controlled substances), order and interpret laboratory studies, and develop and implement patient care plans. They are required to maintain a high level of competency by passing an initial national certification exam, and recertifying every 2 years via the submission of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and every 7 years by the successful completion of a written recertifying examination.   PAs can be found in all areas of medicine including, but not limited to Family Practice and Pediatrics.  Many of my colleagues from graduate school have in fact chosen a specialty area of practice, such as Orthopedics, Cardiology or Surgery.  PAs are recognized as important members of the health care team and are employed in a variety of settings. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for...Offspring

Since I didn't get a chance to post about Adam for my "A" post, I thought I'd stretch it here today and post about him under "O" for Offspring...works, right??  Well, let me tell you a little about Adam.  He's two...and our third and final child.  He joins 2 older sisters and has become the apple of our eyes.  He is definitely fulfilling his role as the toddler in the house.  He's adorable and snuggly one minute, and combative and cranky the next.  He loves cars, trains and all forms of transportation.  He gets excited at construction sites and when he passes by a McDonald's, he demands french fries.  He is bilingual and will speak perfect Spanish to me, while addressing the rest of his clan in English. He is demanding and playful. Loving, yet inpatient. He is a wonderful, sweet toddler, and we all look forward to watching him grow into a fun-loving boy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for...NEW layout!

Cheating here today, because I just completed a layout tonight during my monthly crop here at home and wanted to share ;-).  It's for a sketch challenge over at www.sketchythursdays.blogspot.com for their May guest design team position.  Even though I know this isn't nearly as good enough as some of the entries, I had fun getty all "artsy" with it and had a blast playing with all my papers and embellishments.  So, for today, a NEW layout about some NEW challenges my oldest is facing in school.

The Sketch:

My take on the sketch:

and some close-ups...

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for...Macbook Pro

I am an Apple convert!  Yes, I recently switched over from a desktop PC to my all time favorite gadget ever...a laptop Apple Macbook Pro.  I can't even tell you how much I love this thing.  Yes, there was a learning curve to master (and I am FAR from mastering it), but once you get used to the floating windows and all of the shortcuts, you are in computer heaven.  Add to the fact that I can grab my little jewel and take it anywhere in the house(thank God for wireless) and that I can store upwards of 15,000 pictures on my hard drive (to date) without any trouble whatsoever, and that I can create movies, videos, scrapbooks and more with the touch of a button (or in my case, the tap of a touchpad) and I am sold. AND...knock on wood...I don't even need virus protection.  Yes, I know, I should probably get virus protection, but I was clearly told by both a techie neighbor (who also happens to have an Apple friendly household) and the Apple service reps that the Apple operating system has very few problems, if any, with viruses.  It's been almost a year, and nothing I tell you...nothing at all driving me to frustration.  This is the total opposite to my previous PC that had issues with storing data, being vulnerable to viruses and adware, and as slow as a sloth on a sunny day.  I knew that Apple had a reputation for being good for those who did a lot of graphic type things with their computer (such as gaming and photo-editing), but I had no clue how good it would be.  I can have multiple floating windows open, play music, edit pictures and surf the web and this little workhorse doesn't even flinch!  And having an iPod means I can sync all my music, movies, podcasts and apps effortlessly.  Yes, this can be done on a PC, but it's so much better on an Apple ;-).  So today is the day that I dedicate to my Macbook Pro.  And if ever I should have trouble with it, Apple service is the bomb!!!  Trust me, I've had plenty of issues/questions/concerns since getting my computer last April and they have always been super helpful.  GO APPLE.  Now, if I can just get to iPhone 4 someday soon...