Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mini Album Winner!


Hi Friends!

Thank you to every single fabulous person who entered my mini album giveaway.  I went on over to Random.org and used their generator.  Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to transfer the little box over to my blog.  So, you're going to just have to trust me on this one:  it picked #2, which was Amy, who said,
"I love the joy page too! super cute!"

Yahoo!  The joy journal is all yours!

I've been reading Amy's blog since she created this adorable wreath, which I promptly copied and hung on my door.  It's a great blog--you've got to go check it out!  It seems that Amy and I are leading a similar week--she's getting ready for a craft fair this weekend, too!  Yay for craft fairs!!

Amy--please email me at vicki.terlap at gmail.com and send me your address and I'll get your book right in the mail.  Have fun filling it up with holiday goodness!

XO,

Vicki

I Triple-Heart Buddy

 (source)


Hi Friends!
You know what tomorrow is?!? 

That's right;  December 1st!! 
You know what that means, don't you?  Yup!  It's officially the start of "I Can't Get Enough of Watching Elf" month!  Yahoo! 

The entire Terlap family simply *adores* Buddy and all his crazy-fun-silly-gross antics.  Only Buddy can get away with eating gum off a railing and pouring syrup on his spaghetti and still be irresistible.  The scene with "The World's Best Coffee?"  Hysterical!  Buying his dad the red lingerie?  Super funny!  The manager at Gimbals?  Love him!  In fact, I pretty much love it all!  The kids and I quote Elf way too much, and it never gets old!  You wouldn't believe how many times we break into, "I'm singing.  I'm in a store and I'm singing" while we're out shopping together.  It's the best! : ) 
Oh, Buddy, you're one of my *very favorite* parts of Christmas!

Do you have a favorite Buddy quote?  Leave me a comment and tell me which one it is!

XO,

Vicki

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Place Inbetween


Hi Friends!

See that lovely entryway that looks all decked out and perfectly styled?  Unfortunately, that is not what my house looks like at the moment.  : )  The kids begged me to put up the Christmas decorations on Sunday.  But with crafting and entertaining and phonecalls, we only managed to get the tree up.  The rest of everything is sitting on my dining room table where it's been since Sunday.  We're in that awful "inbetween place" where it looks like the house has exploded and it's about to drive me crazy!  I just need to get through today's class and then I will have all day tomorrow to play with Christmas decorations.   In the meantime, it looks like dinner will take place at the kitchen counter.  : )

***Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free mini album!!  It ends at noon tomorrow (Wednesday!).

XO,

Vicki

PS  Picture found (here)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mini Album Giveaway!


Hi Friends!

Yay!  It's giveaway day! As promised, I'm hoping to send a little goodness in the mail to one of my fabulous readers.  The girls and I have been busy crafting our little hearts out getting ready for Saturday's craft fair.  I have had a blast putting together a big bunch of Christmas mini albums.  I love, love, love mini albums, don't you?  I love having a little book to fill up with just one event or one trip or one holiday. I haven't decided if I'm going to make my mini a December Daily or not, but I know no matter how many days I document through the month, my book will end up filled to capacity with lots of pictures and memories from Christmas 2011.  Want to fill up your own mini album?  One lucky winner will win a mini album with cover design of their choice.  I'll also throw in a couple cute embellishments.  All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me which cover you'd pick if you won.  You can earn an additional entry by subscribing to my blog.  Two entries maximum per person, please. 

Here are the cover choices: 


And here's a peek at some of the inside pages:



The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, the 30th at noon.  I will ship out the book Wednesday afternoon so you can get going on filling up your book.  Good luck, and as always, thank you for stopping by Joyful Whimsy.  I love visitors!  : )

XO

Vicki

I'm linking up with Heather over at Life Made Lovely!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Happy Surprise!



Hi Friends~
Remember the Happy Day Project I completed? Well, I returned home from my wonderful Thanksgiving trip to find out that I won a big 'ole prize pack arranged by the Jeannett and Julie, the creators of the Happy Day week! I am beyond thrilled! As I said in Jeannett's comments section, I think I can speak for everyone who participated in the Happy Day Project when I say that completing the daily prompts and seeing the joy on the faces of the recipients felt like winning the biggest prize, ever.  Isn't that usually the way when one spreads goodness?

In the spirit of spreading a little more goodness, I've decided to do my own little giveaway.  Stop on by later today for details.  Can't wait!

Have a wonderful day!

XO,

Vicki

PS  The picture collage above was taken from Jeannett's blog.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Friends!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with all the things that make the day *truly* special:  family, friends, turkey & football.  : )  We are headed down to Tom and Tommy's house to celebrate all of our blessings (there are so many!).  On Friday the girls and I get to go see Christy try on her wedding gown (so, so excited!!!).  On Saturday, John's parents will head up here and we'll celebrate Thanksgiving all over again (because, clearly, one celebration is never enough!).  : ) 

I am thankful, today and every day, for all the blessings in my life;  for a husband who loves me; 3 strong, healthy, fun children; for a family full of friends, and for friends who are like family.

Life is good.

XO,

Vicki

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear Neenah Swim & Dive Team


Dear Fabulous Neenah Swim & Dive Ladies,

Well, here we are.  The 2011 season is officially over.  I'm not going to lie, I'm not very good with endings.  In fact, I kind of hate them.  But as much as I hate endings, I know how important a good "goodbye" is.  I was all ready to deliver one last "heavy, deep and real Vicki speech" at last night's banquet.  Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the coaches speeches were cut. I was kind of bummed, because (as always) I had a few things I wanted to say to you.  I've decided I need to give that speech anyway, right here on my blog.  The bonus is, you don't have to listen to me get all emotional. (Yay!) So, without further ado, here it goes:


I would have started out by telling you that each and every one of you has touched my heart this year. 
At the end of every season I think, "Gosh, I love these swimmers.  I am never going to love another group the way I love this group."  And then the next group of fabulous, challenging, fun-loving swimmers comes into my life and steals my heart.

Make no mistake, Neenah ladies:  you have stolen my heart

You welcomed me in.  
You accepted my challenges. 
You asked for guidance.
You listened to my advice. 
You challenged me. 
You made me laugh. 
You made me cry. 
You made me proud.
You wouldn't believe how proud I am of you.

I learned so much from you this year.  I learned the difference between club coaching and high school coaching.  I learned what it means to be part of a team where the expectation is to win.  I learned that some of you like hugs, and some of you prefer to cry by yourselves.  I learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is to remind you that you're more than the time that showed up on the board.  I learned that some of you will do pretty much anything for a bag of gummy bears.  And I learned that not a single one of you likes to do breakthroughs.

For the past 3 1/2 months we have been together 6 days a week, at least 3 hours a day.  And you know what?  There was not a single day that I didn't look forward to seeing your faces.  You'd come into practice all giggly or stressed out from your day and then eventually you'd settle in to practice.  Each day you came to work. And each day we'd ask you to give your best.  And you gave it, each day.  Sometimes you'd even ask me to stay after to help you work some more.  Not a single one of you was afraid of hard work.
In the end, we accomplished our goals.  We won Conference.  We won Sectionals.  We rocked at State.  You all saved your best for last, and most of you ended the year with at least one personal best time.  You stepped up and competed and continued Neenah's legacy of winning.  And all of you played a role in the team's success.  Without a doubt, this year would not have been the same without each and every one of you. 
But you know what is even better than winning?  Being part of a team, especially a team as special as this one.   It was my absolute pleasure to watch each of you succeed this year.  I loved seeing the team accomplish its goals.
Next year, we'll come back together and set some new goals.  We'll have new laughs and new moments of triumph.  And while I look forward to seeing you back next year, I know there will never be another year like this one.  Congratulations, ladies, on a fabulous year.

Thanks for the memories.

I am proud to be your coach.

XO,

Coach Vicki

Quote Love

XO,

Vicki

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Heart The Illini (And Denise, Tony & Isabella!)

 Hi Friends!

Oh man!  We had the *best* weekend down in Champaign with our friends, Denise, Tony, & Isabella!  Anyone who knows me knows that I bleed orange and blue. I absolutely *adore* my Alma mater, The University of Illinois.  I'm not going to lie, when I opened my birthday card from Denise and Tony and the Illini tickets fell out, I about hyperventilated, I was so excited!  It's been 13 years since I've been to an Illini game (I was pregnant with Maddie), and I couldn't wait to go to the game and cheer my Illini on!  I love every part of going to a game:  the tailgating, all the crazy orange-and-blue fans, the pregame show, the football (!), halftime...I love it all!
 Tony works for the Champaign Parks Department, who has a partnership with the radio station, so he scored us some awesome tickets to a pre-game tailgate party;  all the hotdogs, brats, chili, potato salad, and cookies we could eat, along with all the soda and beer you wanted (at 10:00 in the morning!).  The best part of the party had to be that the Marching Illini pep band playing in our tent while we were eating! As a proud former band geek, I am a pretty hardcore Marching Illini fan.  (Okay, I totally just cracked myself up with the "hardcore Marching Illini" fan description {but it's true}). 

Of course, we had to get to the game extra-early so we could watch their pre-game show!


 As you can see, there were about 12 other fans there that early!  : )

We had plenty of time to take pictures before the band even took the field!


 As always, the band was awesome!  I sang all the school songs loud and proud.  All by myself.  : )


Can you believe that anyone would miss this awesomeness?!?



 It was Senior Day, so we got to watch all the seniors get introduced.  Then the team took the field and it was time for football!!
 The first half was so much fun!!  We ROCKED!  I couldn't help texting my friend, Karen, the obnoxious Badger fan, throughout the whole first half.  We scored and caused fumbles and scored again! It was magical!

And then.  Well, we didn't play as well in the second half, and we lost.  No worries, though!  I still cheered my head off and enjoyed every minute of the game.

After the game, we picked up the kids and Isabella and headed over to meet this guy:


This is Jake.  Isn't he gorgeous?  Denise is his proud owner.  Denise grew up riding horses, and now Isabella will, too.  She already has her very own tiny, adorable boots:


 Her boots aren't half as cute as she is, though!



After we all rode Jake, it was back to the house for Papa Dell's pizza, which is, of course, the best pizza on the planet!

I am so thankful for getting to spend the weekend with some of my *absolute favorite* people.  Thanks for an awesome weekend, Denise, Tony, and Isabella!  I love you!!

XO,

Vicki

Friday, November 18, 2011

Off to My Happy Place!


Hi Friends!

Yay!!  Today's the day!  John and the kids and I are heading down to Champaign to see our fabulous friends, Denise and Tony, and our super-fabulous Goddaughter, Isabella!  We always have a blast when we're all together. 

And then tomorrow, we're doing this:
I wish you could see me doing my happy dance!!  It's been 13 (!!) years since I've been to an Illini game and I can't wait to watch my beloved team take on the Badgers!  I've got my orange and blue all packed and ready to go!

Okie Wow Wow!

Go Illini!!!!!

XO,

Vicki

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shiny, Happy Wreath


Hi Friends!

Ta-Da!  Here is my first completed wreath!  I absolutely love it.  I love it so much I may not be able to sell it at the craft fair.  : )  I'm thinking of pricing it really high so it won't sell.  Then I'll be forced to bring it home and hang it in my house.  (YAY!)

Want to make one yourself?  Here's a few tips I learned along the way:

*It's worth it to scout around for the best ornament prices.  There are literally hundreds of ornaments of various sizes on this wreath.  For tubes of the little ornaments, check out The Dollar Spot at Target and The Dollar Store.  I found the best deal on the large ornaments at WalMart--a bucket for $5. The bigger the wreath, the more large ornaments you're going to need to fill it up. The fancy balls I found 40% off at Michael's.  I used them sparingly to just add pops of texture.

*For this wreath, I bought a Styrofoam form at Michael's.  It was pretty expensive ($7.99), and I'm not sure I'd go Styrofoam again.  I picked up a few smaller wreath forms at The Dollar Store, and I'm going to try them out next. 

*Stock up on the glue sticks for your glue gun.  I think I used around 20-25 sticks on this wreath alone.  On the plus side, this thing is solid--with all those balls glued to each other and the form, they're not going anywhere. 

*I originally spent way-too-much time snipping off the little hanger part of each ornaments so they wouldn't show.  I discovered that they aren't going to show, anyway, so I stopped doing it halfway through.

*I went ahead and filled in the inside ring; I didn't want any Styrofoam to show.  I used a bunch of small ornaments to do this.

Have fun and let me know if you end up making one.  I'd love to see a picture!

XO,

Vicki

Linking up with Heather over at Life Made Lovely

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Santa's Workshop


Hi Friends!

Come take a peek at what I've been working on!  The girls, Amy and I are going to set up a table at the MOPS craft fair, so we're busy, busy, busy creating all kinds of Christmas goodies to sell.  I've never done a craft fair before, so I'm a little nervous about the whole thing.  I really like everything we're making, though, so if worse comes to worse, I'll just keep it all and use it around the house.  : )  I plan on making a few of the ball wreaths like the one above.  I love how it's turning out.

Emily and Maddie made a whole bunch of these adorable magnets:
with bottle caps and resin.

Jack made a couple of these pine cone trees:


And Maddie strung a whole bunch of pompom garland:

Emily's whipping up a couple of cute Christmas banners:
and Amy and Jack made a couple of these cuties:

I also plan on making a few December Daily/Christmas Mini Albums to sell.  Yay!
My craft room looks like a Christmas explosion with all the supplies laying around.  There are ornaments and pine cones and ribbon and felt squares everywhere!  I can't wait to get back down there and work some more!

I'm off to play!

XO,

Vicki

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Day Project, Days 6 & 7


"Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are -- in your own homes and in your own families,  in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society -- completely forgotten, completely left alone."
— Mother Teresa (via thirdworld)
Hi Friends!
Happy Day week officially ended yesterday, but I didn't complete the last two days until today.  On Saturday the prompt was, "Thank Someone in Service to Others,"  which I predicted would translate into chocolate chip cookies for the fire department, and it did.  Today Emily and I dropped off some homemade goodness over at the station house.

I rank firemen up there with those in the military.  Both jobs involve risks to keep others safe.  Yay for firemen and women!

Sunday's prompt was "Blessings Bags," and I've got to be honest, I didn't know what a "blessing bag" was, so I Googled it.   Turns out, "Blessing Bags" are bags full of necessities you put together for the homeless.  Okie-dokie.  I decided to head over to the Dollar Store and load up on all kinds of things I thought someone without a home might need (see picture above).  I included a few small food items, along with toothpaste and a couple of toothbrushes, cough drops, shampoo, deodorant, a first aide kit, some soap and hand sanitizer.  I loaded Emily in the car and off we went to make a difference.  The only problem was, we couldn't find anyone to give the basket to.  I know this is going to sound horrible, but I have no idea where homeless people hang out around here.  I know there are plenty of homeless folks in WI (I looked it up:  between 29,000 to 34,000), but we seriously couldn't find anyone out.  So, we decided to bring our basket to the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley. The nice people there were happy to take our basket.  I hope it makes a difference to someone.

This Happy Day project has been amazing in so many ways.  I'm so glad I stumbled upon it last week.  I'm thinking this should be a yearly project in the Terlap house.

XO,

Vicki

PS  You can read about days 4 & 5 here, day 3 here, and days 1 & 2 here 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Day Project, Days 4 & 5


Hi Friends!

Just a quick update on my Happy Day Project progress this week.  Today's prompt was, "Refresh Someone's Day," so I decided to pick up a case of water, paste on the cute little printable, and tie on some happy little paper straws with baker's twine.  I took the water bottles over to Jack's school and left them in the teacher's lounge for them to enjoy.  I love Jack's little school.  The teachers are fantastic;  they are completely dedicated to the kiddos. 

Yesterday's prompt was "Book for a Friend," and I decided to get this fun gem for my sweet Goddaughter, Isabella.  



I can't wait to try it out next weekend when we go down to Champaign!   We are going to have so much fun creating, I just know it!

Tomorrow's prompt is "Appreciate Those in Service," which I'm pretty sure is going to translate into cookies for firemen!

I am loving this Happy Day challenge!

XO,

Vicki