May 31, 2012

Pardon the Dust

Blogger got mad at me yesterday and said THIS to me:


I had no idea I even had a upload quota. Evidently, I am supposed to be uploading to Google+ now so that I can upload all my pictures - store them - and not be charged a fee.

Anyone else have this issue?!

I made the mistake of trying to delete unnecessary blogs (old ones), pics, etc. And didn't realize that if I deleted any of them from Google+ (which Picasa goes with hand in hand) then the pictures are removed from the web totally. Leaving me with black and white exclamation marks.

Not a happy camper, but I will get the hang of this. I always so.
So, please... pardon my dust as I work to fix this lovely issue.


May 30, 2012

Some Amore Printables [and a Giveaway!]

This set of free printables is called Summer Love.

Get it? Some Amore.
Some more.

Okay, enough chatter. I forgot that I had these saved up (I tend to get to the seasons too early).
Without further ado (or bad jokes), here you go!

Now, in the past I've mentioned that I was starting to get the hang of Photoshop... and I believe I am still going strong. However, I was recently introduced to a creative memories suite.

Because I do a lot of work on my husband's computer, our main desktop, etc, I've been looking for various programs to house on certain computers. My husband refuses to let me put Picasa on his laptop because it then stores and categorizes HIS pictures. He no likey.

When I was contact by Liz from My Memories, I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait to download the digital scrapbooking software and try it out for myself. After the quick and easy download, I opened up my memories suite and was pleased to learn that, at first glance, I could do this.

I LOVED the simple icons... I know what I am clicking on! =)

And the grid lines; us OCD-ish people want things straight!

After playing with my memories suite for just a few minutes, I was able to pull some old photos off of my Photobucket account, save them to my desktop and then load them right onto the page I was working on.

I made quite a few pages in a short amount of time. But what I really want to focus on is that this creative suite allows me to be creative in other ways. You all know I have a love for making free printables.
The Summer Love collection was made using the My Memories program. No lie. And I bet you couldn't tell the difference between which software I used.

Here's another cute sign I made in a matter of minutes:

A motivational poster for my royal workout series, set to the parameters I like (8x10). Feel free to right click and save!

I love that you can set your own dimensions! That you can use their free papers & elements, purchase papers and elements from them or UPLOAD YOUR OWN!

What's that?! 
When Liz contacted me about trying out My Memories, she also gave me another copy of the digital scrapbooking software for one of my LUCKY readers!!

Here's how to enter:

  1. Like Queen of the Creek on Facebook for one entry. Come on, I need more fans! =)
  2. Leave a comment on this post, letting me know what digital kits you like best from
  3. Like My Memories on Facebook for a third and final entry!

That's it! Each person has THREE chances to win this digital memories suite!
This giveaway will close on Sunday night (June 3 - my half birthday) and the winner will be selected by and announced on Monday morning. Leave your email in the comments section so that I can email you, if you are the chosen one!

It gets better... My Memories has offered ALL of my readers a discount!! To get a $10 discount off of the price of the My Memories creative suite, you can use discount code STMMMS193 at checkout.

Bottom line... if you are new to digital scrapbooking or want to learn how to make fun printables, this design suite is for you! Happy Scrapping! And good luck!!

Love Love Love the 4th [Free Printables]

Memorial Day has come and gone, but Independence day is right around the corner. One of my FAVORITE holidays for sure. Which is why I had such a great time making FREE printables for YOU (and me, because of course I will be printing them off to showcase around the house)!

You can view and download them below. Easy, I pinky promise.

You can also click here to see the rest of the printables I've created. Sharing is caring!

Henry's Story

Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of Henry Granju's passing.
Don't know who he is? Or why I am mentioning it here on my blog?

The answer to the first question lies here and here:


Click on the video, watch the story, listen to the words. Every single minute of the 28 minutes is worth it. 

The answer to the second question is: Because I am a parent. Because I have teenagers. Because I would rather be well-informed than naive.  Because Katie was kind enough to share her story. 

Henry's story.

May 29, 2012

So Long, Farewell...

We'll see you on Saturday.


Abby packed up her stuff and moved out on Sunday. All the way to her grandparent's house (aka my parents) which is 40 minutes down the road. She will be visiting with them for about a month before heading back to her dad in NC.

This was Abby on her first day at school here...

And here is Abby on her last day of school (a friend took this snapshot):

Even though she was among us crazies for 7 months, I think she had a good time. We will miss her (especially Isabel, who now has to do the dishes all on her own). ;) But we know grandma and grandpa will take good care of her. Cuz that's what they do.

So, while we said goodbye for now, my parents are having us over for a dinner (in their NEWLY remodeled kitchen) on Saturday; we will see Abby then. =)

May 27, 2012

Alex & Deana - May 2012

Unlike my little man, my oldest son does NOT like his picture being taken.
When I pull out the camera... he pretty much FREAKS out.

So I like to torture him. A lot.

It was the last day of school... what better to do that engage in an impromptu photo shoot.


No, not me. His real girlfriend, Deana.

First... some outtakes. Just to torture him.

This face (above) says it all... "Really, mom!?!"
Yes, boy... yes.

Poor D was such a sport. She has no problem with the camera. And she was really fun to shoot.

And here is Alex posing. I couldn't get him to take this seriously at all. But I warned them both, come homecoming and prom next year, they better start getting more comfortable, because I *will* be going crazy.

Now... on to some cute shots of the cute couple.

Marcos wasn't impressed with my taking photos of the kids... but I remember a certain couple, our junior year in high school going to Sears, of all places, and taking professional photos.

There are just some things you want to remember in life; capture them.

P.S. Obviously the shoot was impromptu; I would have never allowed Alex to wear that Fatal shirt for a real shoot. lol...

May 26, 2012

Sneaky Little Bugger

I wonder if this kid will love photography. Ever chance he gets, he is either hamming it up for the camera or stealing it to take pictures of HIS world.

Case in point:

Don't mind the half-completed guest bath re-do.

But DO note the closed bathroom door. And the same shirt from this post.

In all honesty, I love going through my camera and finding pictures that he took. I've seen some pretty interesting things through his eyes.

May 24, 2012

Gabriel - My Nephew - Graduate

It is my pleasure to announce that my nephew, Gabriel, graduated high school (from my Alma Mater, no doubt) tonight. He is the first of the cousins to graduate... and we are so proud.

We have another graduation next year, Gabe's sister Amber, and then Alex is class of 2014. Thankfully, there will be a slight reprieve until Isa graduates in 5 years. =)

We are so happy we were there to witness Gabe's important milestone! We love him dearly!

May 23, 2012

SpongeBob SquareBox??!

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. He has NO SHORTS, just under-roos, up under that box. Look at the flip flops & socks combo. And the long sleeve shirt in 100 degree weather.

I am not sure if I should claim him or commit him.

And as I was editing the photo... I noticed the "big smile" written on the box.

Too cute.


May 20, 2012

Dress "Shopping"

I guess it's not totally accurate to call it dress shopping...
[hold on a sec, the eclipse is going on and really, it's like a moth to a flame. i keep blinding myself]

I took the girls to Ross to pick up a few things, and we decided to have a little fun trying on dresses.
I cannot wait until my workouts show a little more progress. Who knew dress trying on was so much fun?!

Isn't it crazy how losing an inch in your waist brings out the crazy beast in you?! Or me, for that matter?

We had such a fun day... So glad to spend it with just the girls.

The big C...


There is no other way to put it. It sucks because of all of the beauty it takes out of this world.

It sucks because it has stolen another perfect soul...
and left a sweet, innocent seven year old without his mother.

via Facebook

And while cancer sucks. And a lot of us are mad right now. We must remember the beautiful person our dear friend was. And the legacy she leaves behind.

We must remember that her son needs our prayers. But because he was once part of her, he too will be beautiful. And grow to do wonderful things. 

Rest in peace my friend. God speed. ♥

May 19, 2012

Hair Today / Gone Tomorrow

Well, not exactly tomorrow... But soon enough. :(
We've been trying to capture some more everyday pictures around the house with the four kids, since we know that Abby's time with us is coming to a close.  She will be visiting with some other of our family members this summer, then heading back to her dad's house before school starts again.

I found these pictures on my Android... Marcos was being silly with the kids... ;) Makes me smile.

Don't they look beyond thrilled?!

Shortly after those pictures were taken, we made them put the mop head to a much better use... To clean the floors!!

They should be lucky we didn't leave it attached to their head first.


May 18, 2012

A Royal Workout - Week 4

Just wanted to put a quick note out there that I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth... and no, I have not given up on blogging (sorry, guys!)... My computer crashed. Long, horrifying story. For another time.

This post is about my week 4 update. As a reminder, click here to see previous entries...
I made it to week 4 people. After missing three workouts in a row, something clicked. I've been keeping up with my food journal, I attended both of this week's classes. There's no stopping me now.

What a lot of my lunches are looking like now.

Tuesday's workout was fabulous. It was exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of things. I didn't make dinner before hand (short on time), but I did grab Subway on the way home. The kids love Subway, so that's a plus.  I worked hard all week to stick to the plan. Marcos and I got a few late night walks in... I ate healthy. I lifted some weights. I was ready for yesterday's workout.

Or so I thought. It was HARD. And Coach Asad pointed out a few trouble-makers in class (yes, I was one of them. I am a talker, a joker; I can't help it.)  So I tried my hardest to concentrate and focus on each exercise. I have so many areas to work on, but my upper body strength is where I want to see some major improvements. And I can tell you, quite honestly, I already am. I am able to do planks and side planks much longer than I was able to do 4 weeks ago. I am starting to see some definition in my arms. I am pleased as punch.

Coach Asad sent me some great information from his company, Fitness Revolution, showing me where and how I could up my cardio, on the days I do not attend boot camp. In fact, Coach and I talked and he wanted to me to focus on the following:

1) Get enough sleep
2) Reduce stress
3) Stay away from breads, sugars, etc. (basically, focus on my diet)

So those are the things I am working on this week. If you take a gander at my food journal, you will see that I am doing an okay job. But I know I can always improve. I've actually been doing a little reading on eating more to lose more. Of course, the eating more must consist of healthy, natural foods. Nothing artificial.

I do have a non-scale victory to tell you about. My niece, who came to live with us last October has lost 60 pounds since she moved in. SIXTY!! Not a lot of extra exercise going on, but I really work hard to watch what the kids eat... to make sure they DO eat, etc. Meal planning helps with that. Especially since we are all so busy. But we HAVE to make the time for ourselves. 

After the workout last night, it was time to get weighed in and measured. If you remember, I was sick during part of week 2 and week 3. I ended up gaining 5 pounds.

I  am pleased to say that I took that 5 pounds right back off. That's a nice way of saying that I am exactly where I started, from when I was weighed in on April 17,

For measurements... I've lost an inch in my waist, half an inch in my hips, and gained half of an inch in my right arm. (MUSCLE... right?!).  I can't remember where I was with my thigh, so I will have to update you on that later.  While I won't be winning any awards or TV shows. I am pleased with my progress.

My BMI is pretty much the same. I am hoping to see a bigger adjustment come mid-June. =)

So, another week down and another week ahead to look forward to. Especially if I get to see these beauties again:

Aren't they brilliant?!

P.S. Isabel and I are starting a 10 day Zumba challenge on Monday. Pics to come, for sure! ;)

May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day

As I mentioned in my previous post, Marcos had to work on Mother's Day. So it was just me and the kiddos. We actually were having lunch with my parents, my Aunt and Uncles, my cousin and my grandma at our house. Which meant we had to get up and get going pretty early.  The kids helped with the chores while I ran to complete some errands. I needed to pick up the frames for my mother's present, as well as pick up a little something for my aunt and for my grandma.

Our meal yesterday was scheduled to be light; tuna salad, chicken salad, veggies, deviled eggs, etc. I made, for the very first time, Ambrosia Salad. Easy. :) Pineapple, Mandarin oranges, marshmallows, coconut shavings and almond slices. Mixed with homemade whipped cream.

I will never buy cool whip again. Seriously.  It was so easy to make and it tastes so light and delish. But that might just be because of my beautiful Kitchen-Aid mixer. =)

The day was quiet, easy and fun. My aunt brought several of her HUGE binders filled with a million pictures from the past 10 years. To reminisce and to also share with Abby, my niece who missed all of those occasions. That was a blast! My kids used to be soooo cute! ;)

Speaking of kids, Isabel delivered a handmade card to me yesterday...

This voucher is my absolute favorite:

I am trying to determine how she sees that as a present?! lol... Alex is a decent driver, but it still wouldn't be something I'd consider a cruise around town. What a silly girl.

Finally, Nic also gave me a present...

Told you Nico loved the Avengers...  What I am not loving?! That he took it upon himself to put thumbtacks in my walls. Crazy kid.

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day (if you are a momma). And I hope you made your momma's day wonderful. My momma LOVED her present! I knew she would. It's those darn grand kids.