Tara has our photos up! They are so great! They are chaotic and crazy and US! I am so grateful for her time and skill and positive attitude. Not sure how to post the link - http://tarawhitney.typepad.com/

Gosh, I was a wreck over this and now my heart is pounding out of my chest in excitement!!!! YAY!!! : )

We Said, "CHEESE"!


Today was the day that I have been waiting months for!

We hired Tara Whitney (an amazing photographer and super sweet lady) to take our family portraits. Nope, not those run-of-the-mill, stiff and contrived looking mall portraits. Not perfect people in matchy matchy clothes with forced smiles, but us... the Carters! These are the real deal! OK, I admit that I might have given her permission to edit out any blemishes, wrinkles, dark circles, eye bags, double chins, belly bulges and excess hippage on my photos, but if I was very wealthy that would be my reality so it's not really cheating. Ha!

The boys were so feisty and not at all interested in cooperating. They spotted the sidewalk chalk we brought and could not be persuaded to wait until later to play with it. Cole even drew a bright blue line down his face just as we were getting started. I was actually getting a little bit embarrassed and frustrated with them, but Tara kept her cool and assured me that this was normal and she could handle it. She is such a pro. Had it not been for her relaxed attitude and big smile, I would have been in tears and the boys would have been grounded for life!!

She even left a message on my phone tonight to tell me that she looked over the photos and I could breathe a sigh of relief because there are some really good ones. I am thrilled to know that she is happy with the shoot. She is a brilliant photographer and we were lucky to get on her schedule before the holidays. Now, I am going to go nuts waiting to see the final photos. I can't even begin to express how excited I am! I'll keep you posted.

Good Things


First of all, I need to share the super cool gift that I got in the mail today from my sweet and thoughtful friend, Nora. She is the Queen of Stamps and she treated me to not one, not two, but THREE lovely and quite royal little beauties. Aren't these just adorable? They are from Catslife Press. Click on "Good Things" (above) to go to their website. I am thrilled to have them and even more thrilled to have such a terrific friend.
Thank you, Nora!!! You made my day so special!

Just wanted to add a before and after shot of my new hair color while I'm posting. The blonde and magenta are gone and a fiesty red has taken it's place. It's called Roxy Red to be specific and Drew picked it for me. I am excited to play in all of the red dyes again. I never get the same color twice in a row, so it will be fun to sample various firey reds and plums for the next year or so. It's funny, but I always feel more comfortable with red hair. I don't know why since I was born a blonde, but it's true. I just feel "right" in red. Some friends and family members hate the red and others prefer it. What do you think? (Yes, I do know that theb first is a horrible picture of me. Aren't they all? The second one is kind of smirky, but I'm kind of smirky so it fits.)

I was tagged by Wendy (Wishin4MoreTime)


Wendy tagged me to take this quiz, so I will not disappoint her. : )

2-names you go by: Mommy and my husband calls me Kuken, which means little chicken in German (don't ask).
2-parts of your heritage: German and Norwegian on both sides
2-things that scare you: Dentists scare the crap out of me. I actually have to be drugged before I go and driven there and home again. I also hate blackouts because they always seem to hit when I am in the bath. I watch a lot of horror movies so I always think some maniac with a chainsaw is going to come tearing through the darkness.
2-everyday essentials: a kiss from my husband and coffee with lots of flavored creamer
2-favorite bands or musical artists: Bauhaus and Danzig
2-favorite songs: Push (Sarah McLachlan) and Knock Me A Kiss (Louis Jordan) - both make me all swoony for my dreamy husband.
2- things you want in a relationship (other than real love): laughter and understanding - I get both : )
2-physical things that appeal to you in the opposite sex: sexy throats and strong shoulders - yes, my husband has both
2-of your favorite hobbies: scrapbooking and photography
2-things you really want badly: a romantic vacation with my husband (no kids) and new curtains throughout my house.
2-places you want to go on vacation: Bora Bora and an Alaskan cruise
2-things you want to do before you die: scuba dive and hear my children say that they love their lives.
2-ways that you are stereotypically a chick: I cry at sappy movies and I love pedicures.
2-things you are thinking about now: doing laundry and what to wear tomorrow when Tara Whitney takes our family photos.... Yes, you read that right! neener neener!! : )~
2-stores you shop at: Scrapbook Oasis and Target
3-people I would like to see take this quiz: norascrapsmac, hailiriley and shamby


Tea & Biscuit


My younger brother surprised me with these precious photos. Our dog lives with his family now. I wish I could explain how happy these pictures make me. I miss Biscuit so much, but I am thrilled that my sweet lil' Princess Kate is loving him so well. It fills me with joy to see her having a tea party with him.

I love that they even had coordinating Halloween costumes. She was Princess Leia and he was Darth Vader. How freakin' cute is that anyway?! I just love this child and I am relieved that she loves Biscuit with her whole heart. She thinks everything he does is hilarious even if he just sneezes. We really did make the right choice!

My 15 Minutes of {Fame}


I know this is sort of tooting my own horn, but I am excited so you're just going to have to deal with it.

I have never in my life had something that I was good at, so my inner child is twirling around in glee right now. Yesterday I finally received a copy of the summer issue of CorrespondenceART magazine and I have been anxious to see it because I'm in it. Although I have had my work published in a magazine once before, this time I have four different projects in one issue. They even used the "Make A Wish" box that I made for my friend, Dusti, in the Table of Contents, which for some silly reason gave me a huge rush. I admit it... I really enjoy seeing my name in print. It's like getting a big fat stamp of approval on my artwork. I submit cards and random projects more than anything else. I sort of have a fear of having my scrapbook layouts rejected because they are so much more personal to me. I did get some courage and submit a few recently, so we will see.

So here is my current claim to fame...
I have filmed two segments for HGTV's Crafters Coast to Coast (which aired in April 2005 and again in October 2005). I had a wedding card published in Paper Trends magazine. I worked on two design teams (one was an online store and one was a scrapbook kit club). I was quoted in PaperKutz magazine but that doesn't really count for much. Lastly, I helped to inspire a small board game manufacturer to create a scrapbooking game called "Oh, Scrap!" (they even gave me credit on the back of the package). That's all I've got. Compared to some of my scrappin' friends it isn't much at all, but I am OK with that. I am not trying to be famous or get a job with a prestigious manufacturer. I am just a stay-at-home mom who gets a thrill out of my little accomplishments. Everyone has to set goals and this is just one way I challenge myself.

If you want the inside scoop, I have challenged myself the most and pushed myself furthest by being outgoing and friendly on the message boards and in person. By nature I am not outgoing or friendly. *LOL* I have had to make an enormous effort to be a nicer person and to enjoy the company of others. I'm dead serious! I have started yahoo groups, put myself in charge of a class reunion and recently encouraged other local scrappers to join me in a monthly Girls Night Out. On a smaller scale, I have joined not one, but TWO Secret Santa exchanges. I can't even tell you how far outside of my comfort zone these actions are. Just by blogging and putting myself out there, I know I have come a long way. Fortunately, this has paid off and I now have some truly wonderful and hilarious friends. I can honestly say that I am actually becoming a people person. (I know some of you who have known me for years are laughing your butts off right now.) It's true! I am really enjoying the company of others and look forward to meeting new people. I will even go so far as to say.... I LIKE PEOPLE!

For the record... No! Hell has not frozen over!! I have actually thawed out a bit.

My Elf Likes Me!!!


I am participating in a Secret Santa exchange with some friends in the Pub (a scrapbooking message board, not a bar). Well, the lady who has me calls herself KarenCartersChiefElf and she is very good to me! She has already sent me a Starbucks card for Halloween and now this really cute little box filled with clues about her identity. She is really good at this Secret Pal business. I was so excited to get something in the mail and when I opened it I felt like a giddy kid. There were all of these layers of clues for me to open and it was fun to read the rhymes! I will treasure my special little box and it has a home on the shelf above my scrap desk. : )

Elf, if you are reading this... Thanks again! You made my day!



Friday was the first Girls Night Out for the OC Peas and we had a great turn-out. Fifteen of us had a fab dinner at Buca di Beppo in Irvine. We ate and ate and ate! We had a little scrap supply swap and lots of laughter. After dinner a bunch of us headed over to Scrapbook Oasis since they are open until midnight on Fridays. We did a little late night shopping and more chatting. It was great fun. Nora drove me home and hung out for a while since her husband was there watching movies with mine. Can't wait until December 2nd for the next one!!! There are lots of photos in my pea gallery.



I just want to shout it from the rooftop! DREW IS THE PERFECT MAN FOR ME!! He is a handsome, sincere, supportive and loyal husband. Drew has been here for me during the darkest and brightest hours of my life. Do you know that he literally saved my life when I was pregnant with Noah? Well, he did! I am thrilled that I get to spend every day of the rest of my life with this beautiful man.

I have millions of reasons to love him, but here are just a few... He kisses me every day before he leaves the house. He calls me from work or sends me humorous little emails during the day. He runs me bubble baths at night and then checks in to see if I need a drink or a fresh towel. He snuggles with me on the couch while we watch our favorite TV shows. He encourages my hobbies and interests. He even looks at all of my scrapbook layouts and offers constructive critisism. He picks up Starbucks or dinner without any complaints. He listens when I talk. He makes me laugh all the time because he is just hilarious. He can fix almost anything around the house. He takes care of ALL of the bills and financial stuff, so I don't stress out over it. He is always doing little (and big) things to make my life easier, happier, more relaxed or more fun. He sends me on spa days and scrapbook retreats and while I'm gone he sends me little love notes on my phone telling me how much he is enjoying his time with our kids. He surprises me with the most fabulous and gnerous gifts (my first brand new car, concert tickets, dirt bike, Digital Rebel camera, photography classes, jewelry, Starbucks cards, furniture, a giant spa tub, an adorable pink iPod, iBook G4, and so much more) because he thinks I deserve it. He encourages me to treat myself special. He never ever speaks down to me or raises his voice with me. He likes my cooking! He even does dishes and takes out the trash without any hints from me! He is so interesting and he knows something about everything. He is the King of pop culture trivia, I swear! Drew is a caring and involved father. He rolls around on the floor or in the grass with his kids and he doesn't care who's watching. He even decorates the boys' birthday cakes each year! How cool is that?! He plays like a pal, but is also a firm disciplinarian. He jumped right into his daddy role from the very minute Noah was born. Drew bathes the kids and changes dirty diapers without having to be asked. He cooks them breakfast on the weekends or takes us all out for pancakes. He communicates well with his boys and teaches them to respect others and themselves. He sets an excellent example for his children by doing good deeds and helping others. He is so brilliant when it comes to parenting and it's comforting to know that we share the same goals for our family. To know him is to love him. He really is the greatest man on Earth and he's mine - ALL MINE! How did I get so lucky to have the perfect man for me? I don't have a clue, but I surely don't take him for granted.

OK, just so you know I'm level headed and not totally blinded by love... there is one little thing I would change about him if I could. I would turn him into a coffee drinker. I swear, that's it. It's the ONLY thing I would change. It drives me nuts that he doesn't like coffee. You may think this is silly, but coffee is more than just a drink to me. It's a social and bonding thing. I grew up watching my folks share coffee with friends, family and neighbors. I wish the man drank coffee. THERE!!! I said it!

Here are couple of my favorite photos of him.... The photo above was taken for the management team at his office. The one on the rocks is from our wedding day. We eloped to Tahoe and got married in snowsuits in the freezing cold. I included photos of him holding our boys for the first time. I also included a photo of him laughing because it makes me happy!

If We All Do A Little


(Link in title, just click it!)
This morning I was reading my friend, Nora's blog and she had commented on an episode of the Oprah show with Leonardo (hottie) DiCaprio that I tivo'd. It was all about global warming. I was so impressed by the information that both Nora and the show shared. I went to www.stopglobalwarming.org and signed up for the Virtual March. It is a website that was developed to "use the strength of our numbers to urge:

1. The president to initiate a real plan of action to address global warming.

2. Congress to enact new laws to reduce global warming pollution from U.S. power plants, factories and automobiles.

3. U.S. businesses to start a new industrial revolution of clean energy products that will reduce our oil dependence and global warming pollution."

I really want my children (and theirs) to live on a safe and healthy planet, so I promised myself that I would do a few things to better their chances.

1. I will spread the word about global warming and the virtual march campaign.

2. I will continue to recycle and to turn off the water when brushing my teeth.

3. I will change out some light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

4. I will unplug the extras. I just ran around my house unplugging the extra stuff (camera charger, phone charger, lamps we don't use, scent stories air freshener, etc.). Gosh! We had a lot of extra junk plugged in sucking up energy! I'll bet you do too.

5. I will stop buying paper plates.

6. I will be more responsible in my purchases and take packaging into consideration. Especially this holiday season!

My theory is... if we all do a little, then we all do a lot!


Halloween Fun (warning: lots of photos!)


Halloween just flew by. We had so much fun with the boys at the pumpkin patch. They had a blast pelting Daddy with hay, riding the train and racing through the corn maze. Cole was kissing pumpkins and Noah was making running around like a maniac. FUN!!!
On Halloween night we went Trick or Treating with some of Drew's cousins in Aunt Jan's neighborhood. They all looked adorable in their costumes. If you ask Noah (4) what he was, he will tell you "Anakin Skywalker with a blue life saver". At one point during the evening he encountered a mini Darth Vader and a short light saber battle ensued in a drive way. Cole (2) was Evel Knievel and he was a big hit with the home owners. A couple of people thought he was tiny Elvis, but that's OK. Cole kept telling us he was a big boy and didn't want us to help him walk up to the doors. By the end of the night Cole was stumbling around like an old drunk, but he insisted on walking with the other kids even though he had a really hard time keeping up their pace. We were home by 8:30 and let the kids each have a candy and milk before bed. Now there is way too much left over and I keep grazing on it. UGH! I think I need to have Drew take it to work. We left candy out at our house, but every single piece of it was still there when we got home. That makes me so sad. I really miss passing out candy to costumed kids, but I sure love watching my boys enjoying my favorite holiday.

About me

  • I'm Karen (Cupcake) Carter
  • From Orange County, California, United States
  • I am happily married to my best friend and proud to be the Mommy of two sweet little boys. My world revolves around these three handsome guys. Everything I do is for or because of them. I am happy to the core!
  • My profile

Last posts


A Few Of My Favorite Things

Organizations I Support

ATOM 0.3