Deb and I are at the beach for a scrapbook weekend! Technically, I have scrapbooked: I’ve done exactly three pages, and I am proud of myself.

So what does one do at scrapbook weekend if one is not scrapbooking, you ask?

Well, we have a tradition that we follow on the way there. First, we stopped at every Goodwill between Portland and Lincoln City, where we scored on Creative Memories albums and a couple of games for David. And a clock. And a book. And a cool wine glass. Then we have lunch at McMenamin’s Lighthouse Pub in Lincoln City, where I always eat the salmon sandwich. (This particular trip, it was quite appropriate, because it was a Friday in Lent.) Finally, it is off to the beach house!

We settled in, and Deb got busy cropping like a maniac. I, on the other hand, did the work I spoke of yesterday, sorted papers, ate some candy, checked my email, took a nap, drank a margarita, watched some Olympics (men’s figure skating and women’s Super G, both incredible), wrote a blog post, and did a jello shot. There are some awesome women to hang out with, so whatever I do, I am having a good time.

Today, though, I really buckled down. I slept until 10:30, paid a couple of bills, sorted through my Christmas paper and stickers, did those three scrapbook pages (of Christmas 2016), did another jello shot, had another margarita, watched some more Olympics, took a really long nap, and then uploaded and sorted tons and tons of photos (from 1988 to 2006)!  I call this a productive day, in a very pampering weekend.

Looking forward to this weekend – and dreading it

I’ve been out of town at the Oregon Coast the past two weekends. Two weeks ago, Deb and I trekked out to Lincoln City for Sue’s Annual February Scrapbook Weekend.

Lori and Deb, hanging out in our PJs
Lori and Deb, hanging out in our PJs

We did things a little differently this year: instead of hitting every Goodwill store (Lincoln City, McMinnville, Newberg and Tigard) on the way home, we hit them on the way there. We even threw in a stop at the New to You consignment emporium in McMinnville for good measure. One of my big scores of the trip was my Tray of Goodness, a sturdy Martha Stewart organizer – new – for only $1.99. It kept my tabletop organized while we worked.

Lori's Tray of Goodness
Lori’s Tray of Goodness

Speaking of working, I didn’t actually scrapbook at all. I had a huge backlog of stuff to sort and organize, so I decided to get that out of the way. Now I’ll have more time to scrapbook at home… hopefully. I also spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out and eating candy, which is pretty much the definition of bliss, for me.

This past weekend, Quinland and I went with our Scout troop out to the property at Seaside. It was basically a big one-room cabin with a kitchen and bath – the kids called it a “preschool” – with stacks of mats to spread out sleeping bags on. We did some work, cooked some food, and played some games… but mostly we walked the few blocks to the Prom, where we filled up on salt-water taffy, did some antique shopping, and flew our kite on the beach. It was super fun. We slept like rocks each night; it must be that salty air.

sunrise photo by Quinland
sunrise photo by Quinland

I’m looking forward to being at home this weekend. I’ve gotten behind on housework – more so than usual – and it will be good to get that sorted before I go away again next weekend. (I’m going down to California to visit Dad and Ann!) Unfortunately, though, this is the weekend I dread every year: Spring Forward Time. Argh. Argh, argh, argh.

Not only do I hate the one-time loss of that hour of sleep, I really hate the feeling of getting up an hour earlier every morning. I can’t seem to get used to it for WEEKS. Every year, I swear I am not going to change my clock in the fall, just so I don’t have to change back in the spring. (That resolution has never lasted more than 10 days, sadly.) I try to cheer myself up with the promise of sunny hours after work, hours when I will ultimately feel like being productive… once I no longer feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

I hear that going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier for the week before (and waking up that much earlier as well) can help you adjust more easily to the time change. If that’s the case, I’d better go to sleep right now. Check with me in a week or two and I’ll tell you how it went.

out of the consultant protection program

NaBloPoMo Day 25:
Tell us about the last thing a person or advertisement convinced you to buy.

On Saturday, my friend Deb and I went to a Preview Party for our friend Sue’s new business opportunity, Ahni & Zoe. This is the latest venture by Creative Memories, the company that brought scrapbooking to the masses.

Let’s start by saying this: I love scrapbooking. I consider myself a scrapbooker. I was, in fact, a Creative Memories consultant – not once, not twice, but three separate times. The first time was in 1995; I was a consultant for six months, but student teaching got the better of me and I gave it up – but not before I got hooked! Thankfully, Deb became a consultant so I still had easy access to products. When Deb moved to Germany almost five years later, I signed up again and stayed a consultant for eight years. I finally quit when the amount of product I was buying far exceeded the amount of product I was selling! I missed it, though, and signed up one more time – briefly – before I knew it was not for me.

I was intrigued to find out what the new Ahni & Zoe model of scrapbooking would look like. I was pleasantly surprised!

The new program is based around the following premise: people are taking more photos than ever now that everyone has a camera (their phone) with them at all times, but nobody is printing their photos or jotting down what any of the details. I can relate to that; even before I got a smartphone, as soon as I started taking digital photos, I stopped printing them. We were all compelled to have photos developed when we had film cameras, because that was the only way to see your pictures! But now, unless we post them to Facebook or show them to someone one-on-one, many of our photos never see the light of day. Even the ones shared on social media will only be available as long as those sites are up – and someone knows our passwords.

Ahni & Zoe starts with an app that lets you edit your photos and jot down notes about them, right on your phone or computer. You tag the ones you want to print. You sign up for a prepaid photo plan and your tagged photos are sent to you automatically. (I love the idea of not having to remember to print them!) The new A&Z scrapbooks are all pre-decorated, so when your photos arrive, you just use your Tape Runner to stick them into an album or slide your photos into photo-safe pocket pages. Instead of the weeks or months it might have taken to do a scrapbook in the past, you can get all your photos in an adorable album in one night of watching TV. Amazing.

So… what was I inspired to buy? The Consultant Kit.

Why am I doing this again? Let me count the ways.

  • I truly believe in getting photos off of digital devices. As the old saying goes, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be jpgs!” That goes for two-legged and four-legged kiddos!
  • I feel that it’s important to know even part of the story behind a photo. I treasure the one-line notes in my mom’s handwriting that are on the back of my childhood photos.
  • Ahni & Zoe albums have gone back to the doable, easy way of scrapbooking. There are no tools for sale, just Tape Runner and basic pens. Yes, I like creative scrapbooking, but 95% of picture-takers don’t. Those people deserve photo albums, too!
  • The minimum order requirements are really low, and print packages count toward them!
  • The new plan does not involve keeping inventory, which is what killed me during my longest stretch as a CM consultant, as inventory was taking over my house. Instead, orders are placed on a per-party basis.
  • The new system will take credit cards directly, making ordering sooo much easier for customers and consultants.

I’m excited about the new opportunity. Kits for new consultants won’t be shipping until January 1, 2014, so I’ll have time to learn all about Ahni & Zoe. I’ll be poring over every page of the new catalog and dreaming of the quick, easy albums I’ll be making.