One of my most favorite scrappy spots on the web is BACK, and I had no clue!! Please join in the chatter over at ScrapFREAK. It's a scrappy forum with the occasional challenge, fun crops, and pinsperational gallery! Thanks a million Monica for bringing the freak back to the web!

www.scrapfreak.com - Get your freak on :)

{tis the season}

Tis the season to be shopping, fa, la, la, la, la-a, la, la, la, la-a :)

I've begun my Christmas shopping this year, and I've taken some steps to make this year's Christmas experience hearty and full, but on a beer budget. Money Saving Mom blogged about the 7 Ways to Save Money and Stay Organized When Shopping for Holiday Gifts; it's a great article. It helped me to make a list of everyone who I'm buying for, or gifts that I'll be making, like for my student employees at my job. Now that I'm a supervisor, I feel obligated to get them a little something. I figure I'll bake them some cookies and give them a gift card to Starbucks or Einstein Bros here on campus, just $5.

Here is my list:
Harper, Shara, Jenna, Brayden, Avery, Kayla, Jack, Adler, Megan, Hannah, Kevin Jr, my parents, Gavin's parents, Stephanie, Chad, Darbi, Wes, donation gifts, 3 student workers, and secret santa for my dad's side of the family.

I've taken down my budget for all the nieces and nephews to $15 each instead of $20 each that we were spending the last few years. Regardless of bringing down my budget, I've been able to save a ton of money, AND still get the same kind of gifts that I got them before.

I've already purchased gifts for Shara, Jenna, Avery, Hannah, and Megan, and I know they will love them. I won't spoil it here though until Xmas, but I hate hold back! I've spent a total of $63 on the 5 of them; that's an average of $12.30 each, and they've got some great gifts (not just one, but multiple gifts, and I'm a little jealous). I love being spend-thrifty!!

Well that's it for now, but in the name of all things holiday since this blurb is about the holidays, I'll share a few Pins that I've found recently that are a bit... spooky, creepy, joyful, and lovely.

1. Halloween is coming up, great free subway art.

2. Ghoulish dancing dresses for the front yard, perfect for the ultimate spooky Halloween

3. Crafty decor or gift idea for Christmas

4. The most perfect holiday dress, picture this with a skinny black belt, black tights, black shoes, and chandelier earings, lovely

5. Same goes for this outfit, black belt, tights, shoes with chandelier earrings. Parfait :)

With Love,
Gabrielle Watson

{humdrum monday}

Today is just a humdrum Monday for sure. On our ride into work/school this morning, Harper and I met a train that was quite literally a mile long and going 20mph. We sat at the crossing for a good 7 minutes; it was quite long.

Yesterday I purchased a few things from CVS, spent some money, saved some money...

(2) Goldfish, B1G1 free store deal
(2) 5 Gum, B1G1 free CVS coupon (at kiosk)
(2) Pampers Easy Ups 2/$18.00 - 1.50 manu coupon
(1) Huggies Pull Ups 9.00 - $1.50 manu coupon
(2) Tide 5.94 ea - 3.00 (2 x 1.50 manu coupon
(1) Johnson Shampoo $3.00 - .50 manu coupon
(1) Schick Hydro 5 refill $8.79 - 2.00 manu coupon
(1) Cetaphil 8.29 - $1.00 manu coupon
(1) Candy Corn $.99

Out of pocket: 59.71 (including tax)
ECB: 15.99

I admit this wasn't my best, and then I spent $141 at Walmart right after, but I'm stocked up on food for about 3-4 weeks, so hopefully I won't have to buy anymore groceries for a few weeks.

Not much really happened this week. I purchased Photoshop Elements 9, and I'm slowing trying to figure it out. It's much harder than I expected for some reason, so I'm not having loads of fun with it yet. I've downloaded some free actions from TheCoffeeShopBlog, and I got some other free actions from Paint The Moon, both of these sets of free actions work with Creative Suite and PSE9. So for all you budding photogs like me take advantage of these freebies. After I've use these freebies and see how I feel about the actions, I'm thinking about investing in Wonderland 2 Action Pack from Paint the Moon.

Well that's all for now folks, not much else going on these days. I'm waiting on my grade from my Psychology exam. I have a paper to write this week for that class, and I need to read the next chapter for our quiz on Wednesday. I need to start on this week's module in Dash's class.

There was a couple who looked at our home 3 times last week, but they neglected to make us an offer. Our house is in their top 3 though, which is awesome. It's a buyers market, what can we say?

Gavin and I are looking at cars for us. We have our heart set on one of these babies...
2010 Mazda 5, less than 20K miles
Yes it is a mini-mini van, yes it has 6 seats, and yes it all 6 cup holders ;)

Have a great Monday!

With Love,
Gabrielle Watson

{forgive me}

Hey folks,

I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. I've just been busy with trying to enjoy life, study hard, working at a new job, and being a tiny bit overwhelmed with everything.

I am here to update everyone on what has been happening in my life in 10 bullet points:

- I started a new job with the College of Education, and I love it. - The house is still on the market. Someone looked at it yesterday, but we've basically given up hope that the house will sell, oh well. - I am informally shopping around for new cars for Gavin. Just looking at overall cost, highway mileage, and we are looking at pre-owned cars, bigger bang for a our buck. - School began at the end of August. I'm in 9 hours, so far I'm now drowning, but I am tired of school. - I'm researching the GRE and graduate programs. I'm leaning towards Educational Psychology. - I finally visited with a dermatologist in my area about my ever-growing acne problem. - I know I've mentioned this a month ago, but I am being published in the January 2012 copy of Scrapbook Trends magazine. I'm really excited! - Harper is getting over a sore throat virus this week. - I need to purchase more photo editing software to finish my good friend's baby baptismal photos. I've been displeased with the edits that I did, and I want photoshop, but I need the the time to train myself in the new software before just jumping in. - A very good friend of mine is adopting a sweet little girl from Austin, and I couldn't be more proud of their family. We are pulling items out of our attic for them to borrow with their little girl when they bring her home. She is currently finishing up a stint in the NICU; I am making them a little something special. I'm sure your can guess what it is. I'll post pictures later once I give them their gifts.

And now that I'm done giving updates.... I'll share a couple of lovely pictures that I took and edited of my sweet Harper. She is growing up so quick. Her hair is really long in this photo, but we just lopped it all off at Sharkey's Cuts for Kids in Frisco. It is such a great place for children's haircuts. I HIGHLY recommend it.