Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year in Review

We’re running all these “top stories” of 2005 articles in the paper this week. Makes me think about the top stories in my life this year. In no particular order…

1 Becoming an admin at RAKScraps: I heart RAKScraps – all my friends, night owl chats, the inspiration and coming up with all my crazy ideas to keep the place fun
2 Losing my grandfather: While it wasn’t a surprise, because Grandpa had been suffering from Alzheimer’s and cancer, it still hurt. I’ll never forget as how we left the funeral home, someone had but a candy bar in his hands. I was crying and laughing at the same time. There’s nothing he would have liked better.
3 My brother’s wedding: Still can’t believe Mike’s married. Can’t believe Vesna puts up with him either. I didn’t get any cake, but at least the dresses were nice!
4 The birth of my niece Kylie. Another Cabana kid to spoil. She is just too cute and sweet!
5 Watching Taylor become a talking toddler. We got to experience a lot of firsts with Taylor this year as she learned to talk (and talk and talk) and became a regular little person.
6 Winning $200 in Atlantic City. At Vesna’s bachelorette party. Used the money to buy my camera!
7 Moving out of my old apartment/moving back home. I can’t find any of my stuff, but I know I’m better off. I can pay my bills. I still have money after Christmas. Plus, I finally had a reason to get rid of Matt’s stuff.
8 Getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I am a wuss. This was the worst pain, followed by the worst recover ever. I think I felt worse than I did after having my gall bladder out.
9 Going to the digi scrapping convention. It was so cool to meet everyone, especially Jeanine and Correen.
10 Seeing U2 with Randi. It was so cool that I happened to be off on the night Randi happened to get last minute tickets.
11 Raising money for Katrina victims. I am so proud of our Jazz kit and that we were able to do something for others.
12 Staying up all night to read Harry Potter 6. Still don’t believe the ending!
13 Staying up all night chatting with Tania, Amy, Shelly and Melinda. These gals are the best. We had so much fun.
14 Creating “Fracally the Musical” with my cousins. Short for Fralinger-Cabana-Reilly. We were in NYC on our way to see Little Women on Broadway singing in the streets.
15 Running a doggy-nephew sitting service. Spent a lot of time with him when his parents went to Florida (twice) and Costa Rica, and even now when they’re at work.
16 Selling my kits at Scrapdish. It is amazing to see what other people create with my designs. Now if sales pick up this year I’d be super happy.
17 Sponsoring a dog, Charley, at North Shore Animal League. My heart goes out to the little guy. I love the updates they send on his progress.
18 Getting published in Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. Rocky is famous!
19 Hanging out in Marie’s pool. It was so nice to just relax in the pool this summer. It helped with so much of the stress I had been feeling.
20 Catching a glimpse of Hillary Clinton leaving the building. Too weird. I’m surprised secret service didn’t stop me!
21 Page one when the Pope. Crazy news days are what we live for.
22 Christmas tree falling over. It was so devastating. So many of our Christmas memories broken.
23 Getting snowed in with co-workers. We knew we’d get to stay at the hotel because of snow and we came prepared with snacks and booze.
24 My online surprise birthday party at RAKScraps. It was so sweet how everyone made me cards and planned all the surprises!
25 Save Douglass College campaign. I can’t believe they want to get rid of Douglass. Rutgers is crazy.
26 Girls Bike Club. Cracks me up all the time. Even more now that it’s on CD.
27 Living with leaks. Leaks in the old apartment. Leaks at the house during the nonstop month of rain.
28 Addictions: scrapping, blogs, buying kits, LOST, Simpsons DVD commentaries. I need help!
29 Seeing Ryan & Stephanie after way too long. My cousins visited from Florida and got to meet Taylor. They are so grown up now – it is scary!
30 The end of good radio stations in New York. First they got rid of CBS FM. Now KRock is changing formats.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Backing up is BORING!

I'm in the process of backing up all my files. I'm on CD 55. The external cd drive on my computer is so slooooooooow, but it works a lot better than the faster burner on this computer which was wasting all my cds.

I was looking at the new computer I want from hp today. I want to have it custom made so that it will be super fast and have lots of storage space. I think I'm going to order it this week. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

So cute

If you don't want to read my long Christmas ramble, just look at the cute baby!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas catch up

I think I'm recovered enough now to write about Christmas. First I need to mention that my brother saved Christmas when he brought over their tree after ours fell. Everyone came over to decorate it while Mom and I were at work - including Taylor, who calls it "My tree." They hadn't gotten around to putting it up since Vez was busy with the new baby and Taylor was sick. Vesna said maybe it was for a reason!

This was the first Christmas in a long time that I didn't have to wake up and come over, since I'm living at mom's now. But we did have to wait until around 9:30 for everyone to arrive. Mom started the bacon, which stunk up the whole house, and I went downstairs to make some coffee and put on the Christmas music. I think Aunt Lorraine was the first to arrive, followed by Randi, Khoder and Rocky, then Grandma, then Mike & Co. When Randi was living at home, we opened our gifts first and then opened more when everyone else came over. But this year we all opened them at once and it was CHAOS! I could hardly get any photos or even watch anyone else open their gifts because I was busy handing them out. Taylor had such a huge pile. She wanted to play with things right away, and didn't even realize there was so much more behind her. She got Cinderella's Castle from mom along with the other princess play sets, a bunch of stuff for her Dora house and clothes for her Dora doll from me and Randi, plus clothes, books, puzzles. Rocky got a ton of treats and a new puffy orange coat. Mike got a Bob Ross art kit, which he's wanted since he was a kid! Randi & I gave Lorraine one of the 3 little pigs along with the story book - that was what she always read to us when we were kids. Grandma cried when she opened the calendar I made and then she cried again when she looked at the wedding book! (Mom & Randi got their copies on Christmas morning.) I can't even remember what everyone else got because there were just piles and piles of wrapping paper and boxes everywhere.

I can tell you what I got: a new memory card for my camera; a Darth Tater; an R2D2 mug filled with M&Ms; Littlest Pet Shop hamsters (yes I know how old I am - my sister has been saying she's going to get me a pet for years and these are the nice low maintenance kind.); a nice pink sweater; photo paper; ink; Simpsons seasons 6&7 with the Marge and Homer cases; Sex and the City Season Six 1&2; new sheets; some dvds - Muppets Season 1, Raising Arizona, Annie; The Concert for Bangladesh CD; an Alice in Wonderland snow globe; a lace angel that Grandma made; books - Eargon and the Eldest, A Million Little Pieces, some Lemony Snickett Books; and lots of chocolate. Not too bad. Will have to wait a while to buy the new computer because the donations to the computer fund weren't what I expected, unless I sell off the gifts!

Mike and Khoder made pancakes and eggs, which is our newest Christmas tradition. Then we got ready to leave for Aunt Eileen's, which is 2 hours away in South Jersey. Mike and Vesna packed up the toys - they were going to see Vesna's family - and Taylor was upset that the castle was going to live in her grandma's house. She was a little crazy all morning - but she did actually hug Lorraine and usually she's afraid of/mean to her.

I forgot to mention how cute Kylie looked. She was wearing a little Santa suit! She got lots of clothes and a few toys. We'll spoil her more next year! But she was so good and very quiet. At one point when Randi was holding her, Taylor wanted to climb up there too.

The ride to Eileen's was BORING. I tried to read my camera manual, but I started feeling sick. It rained most of the way down. We also saw a horrible car accident - an SUV wrapped around the tree. So horrible to see that on Christmas. I really feel for that person's family.

At Eileen's, dinner was just appetizers. Different things and dips put out all day long. YUM! I made my cheesy spinach ranch dip and then some people were asking me if there was fish in it. GROSS! I hate fish. I think they were crazy! We all just sat around the kitchen eating!

When Renee arrived with Tyler and Danielle, Danielle started crying because she is afraid of Khoder. So Khoder let her put make up and nail polish on him and now they are friends! As Tyler said "You're not a pretty girl, you're gorgeous." Got lots of photos of that!

I didn't think I'd be getting any gifts, because once your 21 you're cut off! But I did get a huge star filled with Ghiradelli chocolates and a cheese sauce.

Later, Uncle Rob's girlfriend Diana had to read one of the weird Night Before Christmas books. Eileen and Bruce have a collection - there's all different spins on it. And we love to humiliate people who are new to our family gatherings. This was Diana's first Christmas with us so she got to read the cowboy book, while wearing a cowboy hat and boots.

My cousin Erin had got this weird air gun for Christmas and she was going around shooting it at people. It made me crazy. But not as crazy as the noise makers she and Randi were playing with. Those came out of the pinata and we big kids always steal the good stuff from the kids.

Later, while we were eating some more snacks, we had out the ipods and sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody. Then Melissa and I listened to her new Rent Soundtrack. I was feeling exhausted, but we couldn't leave because Khoder was busy playing Rob in darts. Now, they could play any time at home since they only live 20 minutes away from each other, but once you get these guys started they are impossible!

We finally dragged Khoder back upstairs - after much plotting, including a pie in the face - and headed home. Luckily there was no traffic. I was so beat I went right to bed. I woke up a few hours later and watched some Simpsons.

I had the last few days off and I tried to spend it cleaning. I cleaned the room up a bit, unpacked another box and even hung up some posters. Yesterday, I cleaned up the office, reorganized my digiphotos, and started backing up my external drive. I'm not even sure what to scrap now, since I'm done with all of my projects, but I vowed not to create another LO or buy another kit until I everything on CD, because my New Year's resolution is going to be getting and staying organized!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I'm an elf!

Here's what I was doing while mom was stuffing the stockings.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Feliz Navidad to all my friends who take the time to read my blog!

I'm working tonight (blah) but they did have an awesome dinner (catered) for those of us who had to work tonight!
I spent the afternoon at my dad's house. Everyone loved the wedding album and Taylor's ABC book.

Taylor was so funny. She opened up her book and said "Oh, it's my book. I love my book," and started hugging it before she even opened it. Then the first page she opened it to was X, which had a picture of "My Randi!" Vesna looked at her wedding book several times - and I think Mike was even impressed. Dad loved it, too, along with a framed LO of me that I gave him.
Taylor didn't want to share or show any of her presents. She hid them and herself under a blanket that she got from Maria. Anything that was for Kylie, she just tossed at the couch. Luckily, she missed the baby! She's 2 1/2 and we spoil her like crazy, so I can't blame the kid when she thinks everything is for her!

Kylie was much more awake than the last few times I've seen her so it was so nice to hold her. At one point I had her in my arms and Taylor had to sit on my lap too. Taylor didn't want me to leave! She grabbed my scarf and shirt and was pulling me back. (She asked if I could buy her a scarf like mine.) Then she finally blew me a kiss and said she loved me. Awwwwwww!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


These are the best gifts I bought this year. I got these cute puppies to donate to The Four Foundation. It is a group founded by my high school history teacher after his son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And every year Mr Tarallo and his students bring toys to the children at Columbia Prebyterian Hostpital in NYC. I am so proud of my sister because this year she got her middle school involved too. She's been helping out since she was in high school. This year they had more than enough toys for all the children in the hospital - so they saved the extras for some of the outpatients too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Our tree

As mom and I were putting up the tree on Sunday, I asked her which was her favorite ornament. And she said it was her partridge in a pear tree - a blown glass ornament that was the first special ornament she ever bought. It was always one that had a special place in the middle of the tree, toward the top. And it was one of my favorites too.

Sometime last night, our tree fell over. My sister found the mess that was all of our Christmas memories when she stopped by this morning on her way to work. All most all the glass balls and stars were smashed. Ornaments were missing heads, arms, legs. It was one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen. I asked about a few of my favorites, and they were ok, but the partiridge in a pear tree was broken. All that was left was the inner piece. We were picking up pieces, sweeping up the mess, trying not to cry.

So it looks like we won't have a tree now. Mom will probably be up all night with her glue gun, trying to salvage what she can. I joked with her that she had been saying she wanted to condense some of her Christmas stuff anyway. I mean, we have other things to be happy about this year. There's Kylie - and I don't have to work on Christmas. But it still won't be the same.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Here's Taylor and her new baby sister, Kylie Mikayla!

Kylie was born Dec 15, sometime during One Life to Live, weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces. That is small considering Taylor weighted 9 pounds, 14 oz.

I think she looks just like Taylor did as a baby, except for the hair! (That's Taylor below)

It was so sweet to see Taylor meet her sister. We thought Taylor would be very jealous and bossy, but she was adorable.

First she was a little shy, but then she touched her, kissed her, read to her and wanted to help change and feed her!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sunday TV

I was so upset I didn't tape Grey's Anatomy this week!!! They need to put that show in the iTunes store.
But I did tape the Simpsons, which was one of the FUNNIEST episodes ever!!!! I had no idea it was going to be Sideshow Bob episode! He's one of my favorite characters. It was all so funny - the Simpsons go to Italy to pick up a car for Mr. Burns, they are attacked by cheese and they get stranded in a village, where Sideshow Bob happens to be the mayor. Then there's a Krusty cameo, opera, and Sideshow junior running around with a knife. The scenes from all over Italy were a riot too, especailly the remains of the Pompeian family that looked just like the Simpsons.

Update on Charley...

From my sponsor puppy's blog...

December 2005
We all know how truly special Charley is. He’s a special boy with special needs. His Foster Care Mom does a great job with his physical therapy at home however it’s becoming evident that he needs more intense therapy from time to time. He will now come to the Medical Center for physical therapy in addition to what he gets at home. It is very important that he maintains strong muscle tone and flexibility so he continues to be mobile. Charley has come so far because of caring people like you and we want to see him continue to thrive. Thank you for your dedication to Charley’s fight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Plain Old Joe

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated

You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys

Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.

And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Saw this on Lisa's blog

Tequila Cake

Think I'll try this recipe for Christmas...

Tequila Christmas Cake

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle tequila
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the tequila to check quality. Take a large bowl, sample the tequila again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup of Tequila...just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the tequila. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.


Friday, December 09, 2005


I was just reading my friend Liz's blog which was a bad idea only because she has a lot of recipies on there, and I haven't eaten dinner. So I was thinking about how I have some Hershey Cherry Cordial Kisses in my bag. I got them the other day at the Hershey Store in NYC, where we spent $50 on candy. They also had these really great new chocolates called Kissables. It's sort of like a mini-kiss version of M&Ms. Really yummy. Wish I had more of those!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


This is a page I did last year for John's 64th birthday. Isn't it funny how people talk about the Beatles like they know them.

John Lennon was killed 25 years ago today. Thinking about this always makes me sad. I was too young to remember or even notice probably. Need to ask my mom what she was doing.

A few years ago Randi and I braved the cold on this day in Strawberry Fields in Central Park. There were so many people, just gathered around sing John's songs and Beatles songs. Some people had instruments, speakers, the whole set up. And across the street at the Dakota, Yoko Ono kept a candle lit.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Xylophone marks the spot

Well since I didn't have anything for X or a picture of Randi in the book - I had her pose in Toys R Us! Thanks everyone for all the ideas!

NYC and Rent

Yesterday we went to NYC. I never get sick of going to see the Rockefeller tree, well unless we go during the weekend when it us just insane. But since it was Tuesday afternoon, it wasn't crowded. One of my new favorite places to go is the big Toys R Us in Times Square, because I am a big kid after all.

Then last night, Randi and I finally went to see Rent. I dragged her to the 10 p.m. show, which is pretty late for a teacher. I loved it - I thought it was funny how they turned parts of songs into dialouge. I expected the whole thing to be sung like the play is, but it was still good. I really loved Idina Menzel and Jesse L. Martin! He was sooooooo awesome. I want to watch Law & Order now. OK, maybe not.

So here are some photos from our adventures yesterday....

King Kong at Toys R Us

The Bickerson's Christmas photo (I take one of them every year in NYC. That's my nickname for them.)

Merry Christmas from Taylor

We just got one in the mail. She looks so grown up!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

This made me so sad!

This story in my paper about two homeless couples made me so sad, especially the photos. The couples are being evicted from their makeshift homes in the woods. If they went to shelters, they would be split up since none of them are married - but they wanted to stay together.

Taylor's ABCs

So now that I'm done with one project, I can finish up another. I'm making an ABC book for Taylor for Christmas. I was going to have it hard bound, but didn't want to risk it. :) So I'm just going to print and put them in this cute little 5x5 album I bought. Still having trouble coming up with something for X. (Any ideas????) I'm mostly using pictures of Taylor - though there are some exceptions for Rocky, zoo animals and a rubber duckie. You can see my pages so far here.

I am done!!!!!

The wedding album is done! I've finished about 45 pages (not counting the ones I did before I picked the colors).
You can see it here -
unless you are Vesna. No peeking!

I never would have gotten it done without the help of the following people who provided the kits, photos, sketches and inspiration: Mom, Joanie, Randi, Becky Higgins, Amy Knepper, Tania Cordova, Mrs S, Carrie Stephens, Dani B, Jen Wilson, Lyndsay Riches, Nancie Rowe Janitz, Michelle Coleman, Jeanine Baechtold, Ali Folendore, Dawn Stocstill, Amy Jo Smith, Holly McCaig, Trish Jones, Rachel Dickson, Melinda Staley, Tandika Star, Julie Mead - phew, I think that's everyone!!!

So now I just need to save jpgs and send it all off to My Publisher, and then finish up all the other projects I want to get done before Christmas.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I just have to say Lost is one of my favorite shows EVER! I was so happy last night to see more of Sawyer. I missed him.
So my new Internet research (what I call web browsing at work) - especially when the scrappin boards are slow - is the Lost boards at Television Without Pity. Love the wacky theories about the show.

More Oprah

Now, I would love to have been at the Favorite Things show, but I also would have loved to be at (or even outside) the Late Show tonight where Oprah and Dave Letterman made up.