Category Archives: Memorabilia Pockets

School Days – Scrapbooking Through the Years


 I have two rules when I scrapbook:  1) Quick; 2) easy.  Well, I am breaking one of my rules today:  Rule #1.  Thought I’d be up front and honest before you got started.  With that being said, I really, really wanted to share this with you because I thought it was too cute!  I would say, from start to finish, you can accomplish this task in about an hour, give or take (if you’re organized).

What you will need:

2 – 12”x12” pieces of red cardstock (background)

Blue cardstock (tags)

Yellow cardstock (tag ribbon & letters)

White cardstock (letter shadows & circles)

Black mini numbers

Die cut machine for title (or you can use letter stickers, whatever you prefer)

Due cut machine or punch for tags

½” circle punch

  1. First, you will need to make 13 tags using the blue cardstock.  I used a 3” tag paper punch.  
  2. What tag is complete without the ribbon?  Using a yellow sheet of cardstock and your trimmer, cut 13 – 1/8” x 3 1/2 “ strips of paper and string them through the hole of each tag. 
  3. Using a ½” circle punch, punch out 13 circles using white cardstock. 
  4. Tape the tags down to your background. 
  5. Stick number stickers on each circle to label each tag according to grade. 
  6. For the title, I used Cricut cartridge George and Basic Shapes for the letters on yellow paper.  They are 1 ½” long and the letter backgrounds was cut using the “shadow” option and white paper. 
  7. Stick down your letters and you have your layout! 
  8. Decorate your pages with school stickers.  Easy!

Where to put the layout?  Since my daughter has 4 more years of school to go through, I can’t just stick this in the middle of a random scrapbook.  I’ve decided to keep it in a safe place and insert them at the end of her senior year album (don’t forget to cover the pages with protectors).

Quick shout out to Ann-Marie for yet another marvelous idea!  Thank you Ann-Marie!!!


Confetti Pockets for Summer Layouts

Hi all!  Back in April I showed an instructional video on how to make confetti pockets for your scrapbooks.  Today I’m going to show you how to do a confetti pocket for your summer layouts!  All you need for this project are the following:

  1. Memorabilia Pocket Size 8.5″x3″
  2. Cardstock – several colors of your choosing
  3. Paper punch
  4. Alphabet stickers or die cut machine
  5. Glue stick and/or tape runner
  6. Scissors/paper trimmer

For this project, I used mini fish and starfish paper punches that I borrowed at a crop I attended (Creative Memories).  If you do not own either of these types of punches, using a hole punch will work just as well.  Make your confetti first to get it out of the way.  Choose cardstock colors that remind you of summer, I used yellow and orange.  This part is a bit time-consuming because you will want to punch at least 50 shapes for your pocket.

Next, you will need at least a 8.5 x 3 inch keepsake envelope.  If you don’t have one or can’t find one in a store, you can make one by using the instructions here.

Using two different pieces of colored cardstock (I used blue and green), cut out 2 backgrounds.  The first background (blue) needs to be cut down small enough to fit inside the envelope.  The second background (green) needs to be a bit larger because it will be adhered behind the finished pocket.

Using my Cricut machine, I cut out a sun and letters that spell out “BEACH” and adhered them to the foreground paper near the top.  Next, I created waves by ripping 3-4 different shades of blue cardstock and then layered and adhered them to the bottom of the foreground paper.  Trim off any excess.  Then insert this piece of paper into the pocket followed by the confetti in front of it.   Seal the envelope closed.  Adhere the envelope to the slightly larger piece of background paper and you are done!

If you are a visual person like me, check out my video to see how it’s done:

A Review of the Scotch Advanced Tape Glider

For those of you who don’t peruse my online scrapbooking website on a regular basis (, I feature “Mo’s Weekly Share” every, well…week.  This week’s share is a review of the Scotch Advanced Tape Glider.  I really love this product, as you will be able to see in this silly little video my daughter helped me produce.  I hope you enjoy!  If you don’t, I don’t wanna know.


Paper Baseballs For Your Baseball Layouts

I posted this video on Youtube over a year ago, but I figured now is the perfect time to re-visit this idea.  Why?  Because it’s baseball season and what better time to share again?!

You will need:

  1. White cardstock
  2. Circle cutter, circle punch or circle template
  3. Journal pen

I used the Fiskars 1 1/2″ circle punch and made a few circles out of white cardstock.  Then, using part of one of the circles as a guide, I drew in the “stitches” with a journal pen in an arc pattern.  That’s it!  These cute baseballs are so easy, you can knock out a ton of them in no time flat!

Age 17 – My First Real Loss


Grandma & Grandpa in the early days

I had never lost someone close to me.  I knew my grandmother was sick, but I wasn’t prepared to lose her.  My grandmother was funny, stubborn, had a strong faith and was full of life.  Unfortunately, she was also a chain smoker.  I mean that in every sense of the word.  I remember visiting my grandparents and she would literally have a cigarette in her mouth from the moment she woke at 5am while saying her Rosary to the moment she went to bed at night.  If I didn’t actually witness her lighting her cigarette with the previous one, I would not have believed it.


Unfortunately, it eventually caught up with her.  Ironically, when she was diagnosed, she had already quit.  Years before that, she had stopped cold turkey.  It’s funny how someone who smoked the way she did could just wake up one morning and decide not to ever pick up another cigarette again.  And she never did.

Grandma in Italy prior to her diagnosis


The cancer engulfed one of her lungs and she had to have it removed.  It took a couple of years for it to hit her second lung.  It was soon after the second diagnosis that she succumbed to the disease.  It’s almost as if she just gave up, I remember how she didn’t fight.

I very vividly remember the day I got the news of her death.  I had just exited the shower and was standing in the bathroom with a towel around myself when the phone rang.  My father called from the hospital to say she had passed away.  I remember sinking to the floor upon hearing the news and sobbing.  I had never lost anyone before and I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.  I was absolutely terrified of attending the services.  I remember feeling so vulnerable and helpless.

My aunt, who is only 11 years older than me, was engaged to be married.  My grandmother used to joke that they would have to push her in a wheelchair down the aisle because my aunt and her fiancée were waiting so long to marry.  After all, she was the last out of 7 children to receive the sacrament.  Ironically, they were wed one week after grandma’s burial.  As sad as we were, the wedding went on because that’s what she would have wanted.  Her presence was very much felt that day.

I think of my grandmother quite often.  I pray to her.  Sometimes I see her in my daughter.  Sometimes I feel like she is my daughter’s guardian angel.  Just a hunch.

As Recording My Youth comes to a close, I reflect on my childhood and what memories have come forth.

For years, when I thought back to my childhood, I always thought everyone grew up like me.  I thought everyone’s dad was in the Army and moved all over.  I thought everyone went garbage picking.  I thought everyone had a nutty mom.

We struggled financially, but my parents always managed to keep a clean and sturdy roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs.  My brothers and I never thought for a second that my parents didn’t have much money.  We were supplied a wonderful upbringing with great memories to last a lifetime.

I tell my daughter all the time how different my upbringing was from hers.  She thinks I had a sad childhood when I recount my stories to her, but she couldn’t be more wrong.  It was wonderful, every bit of it.  I’m so happy to have had this opportunity.  Thank you, Janna!

Age 14/15 – Testing the Waters

I like to refer to my 14th and 15th years as the “dirt” years, because I was always grounded.  It was during this period that I really started to test the waters.  Meaning, I gave my parents a run for their money.  I wasn’t a terrible teenager, I knew girls who were much worse than me.  I just liked to see what I could get away with, which, it turned out, was not much.

That being said, I remember one particular evening that started out as an innocent sleepover in the basement of one of my friend’s house.  Another girl (let’s say Lisa) and I were invited to stay over.  Karen’s parents must have a lot of trust in their daughter, because they allowed us to stay in her finished basement that had sliding glass doors – to the outside.

It turned out that those sliding glass doors were too much of a temptation.  We tried to keep busy by watching some late night television, but those darn doors were calling our names.  About a mile away from Karen’s house were condominium units that housed Lisa’s boyfriend.  She got the great idea that we should all take a walk over to see him.  Being silly 14 year olds, we all thought it was a great idea.  I mean, it was better than watching reruns of the “I Love Lucy” show.  So, we put on our shoes and started the trek through town.  We got about half way there when we were stopped by a police cruiser.  I didn’t really understand what was wrong with what we were doing.  It was only about midnight, the street lights were on, and no one else was out, so it was totally safe…wasn’t it?  Anyway, he asked the three of us to get into the car, we were going “down to the station.”  I had a complete and total meltdown.  I was being arrested.  I was 14 years old and my life was over.  When we got to the station, the police officer started writing something on a white card.  I asked him what he was doing and he replied that he was filling out my JD card.  Oh no, I was going to be classified as a Juvenile Delinquent!  My record was going to be marred!  I’d never get into college; I’d never be able to get a job.  Now I knew my life was over.  Of course, the nice officer was just trying to scare the you-know-what out of me and he was succeeding.  Next, I had to deal with mom and dad.  That didn’t go over too well.  I think I was grounded for a year.

During my 15th year, I was grounded for having a bad report card.  During this period of “groundage”, I received an invitation to attend a sleepover party.  I begged and begged my mom to just let me go to this one party and I’ll never ask to do anything else again, but she wouldn’t lift the punishment (she was so mean…when I grew up, I was going to let MY daughter do whatever she wanted – stay out late till all hours of the night, go to any party she wanted, chaperoned or not, ride in cars with boys.  What was the big deal???).  I absolutely had to go and no one was going to stop me.  So, I wrote a nice “run-away” letter to my parents that described to them that I was not going to go to that party, but I was going to go away to “think and be alone”.  It’s makes me blush when I think of it.  It’s funny to imagine my pre-teen daughter pulling that one in a couple of years.  She’s not that naïve.

When I got off the bus on that fine Friday afternoon, I packed an overnight bag and walked to my best friend’s house who lived about a mile away.  I remember sneaking into her room via her bedroom window and took refuge in her closet until it was time to go.  Luckily, we were able to persuade the birthday girl’s mother to pick us up there.  That poor unsuspecting woman had no idea that she was an accomplice to a run-away.  After what seemed like hours, I climbed out of my hiding spot and out the window I went.

The evening started out very uneventful, until we went to the roller rink for a little skating.  There I saw my brother Eddie who promptly informed me that mom and dad were worried sick and reported me missing to the cops.  He proceeded to tell me that they had every police officer in town knocking on every door that evening looking for me.  He was either a great actor or I was as naive as they come – I tend to think the latter.  My night was ruined.  Just like that.  I looked over my shoulder every 5 minutes.  At this point, my friend’s mom knew that I was a run-away but kept up the charade until morning.  Going home that next day was not fun.  My dad took the door off my bedroom and it remained that way for months.  I couldn’t go anywhere for what seemed like years.  I never ran away again, but I did continue to “test the waters.”  I recall being grounded more times than not.  It was a joke among my friends.  Would I ever learn?  Nah, it was way too much fun.

Age 13 – The Linda Blair Story


I was going to add the possessed Linda Blair, but I was too creeped out!

Remember my birth story when I mentioned my mother jumping out of my closet (My Comedic Birth, October 7)?  Well, here it is…This story describes perfectly what it was like living with a mother like mine and how she raised us.  My daughter thoroughly enjoys her antics to this day.


It was 1980, we had finally acquired cable television and I was too excited for words.  I remember when my cousin got it and I was green with envy.  I was 13 years old and “The Exorcist” was going to be on HBO.  It was a school night, but I was determined to watch it.  I begged and begged my mom.  Of course, she said no…repeatedly.  Moms know best and I should have accepted her “no” and moved on.  She finally caved in with an “o-kay-eee, if you insist” tone to her voice.   How bad could it be?  I should have known.

I quickly got ready for bed in my favorite PJ’s and snuggled in on the couch for some good entertainment.  This was going to be great!  I felt so grown up…watching a grown up movie with my mom, it doesn’t get any better than that.  I thought I was so cool.

Well, my “cool” went right out the door around the time the main character turned her head entirely around on her shoulders and began to spit blood.  I did not run, but FLEW to my bedroom and hid under the covers, head and all, as if the thin layer of cotton and polyester would protect me.  My teeth were chattering so loudly that I could not hear a thing outside of my fortress.  That must have been the moment that my mother snuck into my closet.  Can you imagine my surprise?  I screamed my bloody head off and nearly died from fright – I guess it served me right.

Needless to say, I did not get a wink of sleep that night.  I laid with one eye wide open, looking for any signs of demons.  I was especially anxious because my mind kept going to the Ouija board that was laying in wait in my closet.  You can just imagine the state I was in by the time the sun came up.

In the morning, I told my mother I couldn’t go to school.  She asked me if I felt ill and I replied that I thought the devil had possessed my body during the night.  Utterly ridiculous, I know.  I proceeded to tell her that I felt my bed shaking and heard strange noises.  Don’t ask me why or how, maybe she felt guilty about the closet incident, but she let me stay home.

I couldn’t go into our attic in the winter for years because I could see my breath and to this day if I even hear the name “Regan” I get the shakes… literally.  The moral to this story is to always listen to your mom.  I don’t regret that night, it is a fun memory that I have shared with my daughter on many an occasion.  Especially those occasions when she thinks she knows best.

Age 12: Gauchos, Saddle Shoes and a Child Left Behind

A lot happened between 1978 and 1979.  We moved 3 times within a one year timeframe.  Our final move would be from Yonkers to Mahopac, New York.  I didn’t leave this house until my wedding day 13 years later. 

The Family circa 1979'ish

On our first day in the new house, with moving boxes strewn about, my two brothers decided to go out and put up a bike ramp in the middle of our street which, I might add, was a pretty steep hill.  Eddie decided to play Evel Knievel and literally flew his bike over the ramp.  Of course, when you try to fly when you are 9 or any time for that matter, you don’t usually land gracefully.  He skidded across the gravel on his face (the streets in our neighborhood hadn’t been paved), and he spent the next several hours in the emergency room.  His face was puffy, his eye was swollen shut and water on the knee forced him to use crutches for the next couple of weeks.

At this point, my mom started dabbling in sewing and started to make some of our clothes.  She may have enjoyed her new hobby, but she was no Betsy Ross.  She worked all summer on my “First Day of School” outfit.  Since I have no photograph to share (thank goodness), let me paint a picture for you:

My pants were gauchos made of this industrial strength denim that made me appear to be a triangle when I stood straight.  They were more for wearing in a school play about Polygons than at a place where I was trying to make a good first impression.  I don’t know why, but the material of choice for the neck of my shirt was an elastic band.  Thank goodness I had a scrawny little neck otherwise I may have choked to death.  To top off the look, I wore knee highs and saddle shoes.  It’s a wonder I made any friends.  It would seem that both my brother and I were doomed at this point, but it gets better.

While all the other kids had Adidas and Nike  sneakers, I had  the privilege of wearing Cal-Pros for PE (remember the Caldor sneaker?).  When I went to gym that first day, I didn’t realize that one of my shoes was about 2 sizes bigger than the other.  Apparently, mom accidentally grabbed two different sizes from the bin.  I remember lining up the toes of my shoes so that no one would notice.

While I was in this particular gym class outside, my brother Eddie was on the playground about a couple of hundred feet away.  I remember looking up and noticing his familiar face, when suddenly this awful girl shoved him down in the dirt. The poor boy was defenseless, crutches and all.  I took off like a bullet, leaving my gym class behind to go to his rescue.  I stood up to that girl like I’ve never stood up to anyone before.  I don’t know what came over me.  I guess it was that protective thing, like when I was trying to save him from drowning several years earlier.

This was the third school this year for me and I was completely lost.  I couldn’t grasp a thing they were teaching me.  I can’t remember ever struggling so much in my life.  The end result was to repeat 7th grade.  I thought I was going to die; I was going to be left behind.  I remember crying and crying the day my parents told me.  All the friends I met, this was finally a place I could really settle in and I was going to lose it all.

Dramatic, I know.  I was 12.  It actually wasn’t so bad.  I met new friends, in addition to keeping some of the old.  I got 2 jobs – Papergirl and Babysitter.  I was able to make money to buy myself a pair of totally rad leather clogs and Jordache jeans.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, my parents would not buy me anything designer.  They thought it was frivolous, I thought I was deprived and that I had the worst parents ever.  I wore the jeans to DEATH, almost every day of the week.  I finally figured out that if I told people that I had 5 pairs of the same exact jeans, I would be less embarrassed.

I’ve come to realize that everything happens for a reason.  That course of action and chain of events put my life in the direction it was supposed to go in.  It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?  Oh, and mom and dad, it’s okay that you didn’t buy me everything I wanted.  I get it now.

Age 11: The Year of the Bully

My mom and dad decided that it would be best for dad to leave the army.  My brothers and I were really starting to be affected by the poor education we were receiving.  We moved from Tennessee (which was devastating to me) to St. Paul, Minnesota because my dad needed to receive 2 months of training for his new job in New York.  I don’t remember much about Minnesota except the little boys next door and it being really cold in November.  After our 2 month stint in St. Paul, our next temporary move was to Yonkers, NY while we searched for the house that we would call home for the next 27 years.


My brothers, me and the kids next door in Minnesota. Less than 2 months later we were wearing parkas. Sorry, no photos of Yonkers. Too traumatic.


Yonkers was quite an experience.  Let’s just say you had to have street smarts to live there, of which I had zilch.  We had to walk to and from school every day because the city lacked a bus system at the time.  I remember my mom walking us the first day so we would know how to get there and back.  After that, we were on our own.  I can’t remember complaining about it…ever.  We just did what we had to do.

Once I got to school, I didn’t make many friends.  I made the mistake of staring down a girl on the first day.  How did a skinny white girl who weighed about 50 pounds soaking wet think that would go?  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I never stood up for myself before in my entire life, and Yonkers is where I chose to do so?  I remember these girls hanging out on the street corner to give me a hard time – pushing, shoving, name calling.  It was a pathetic scene.  One especially nice girl hit me over the head with a baton; you know, the kind you twirl with.  I’m not sure if I ever shared this with my mom.  I probably didn’t want to worry her.  My brothers were not spared the same type of treatment.


The weapon of choice


We rented a 2-bedroom apartment while my parents found a permanent home.  My brothers and I had to share a room.  I remember my dad hanging up a curtain to divide our space in half so that I could have a little privacy.  The slumlord, um, I mean LANDLORD was this awful man with a tyrannical temper.  He used to scream at my dad for any little mishap.  The final straw was the spaghetti down the drain incident.  This was cause for Big Bad Landlord to threaten my dad’s life.  Rumor had it that he chased his brother-in-law around the block with a loaded gun.  This rumor, whether true or not, scared my parents enough to want to get out of dodge.  We immediately packed up our belongings, rented a moving van and skipped town dead in the middle of the night.  It was like a scene out of The Godfather.

Just so I’m not a complete Negative Nelly, I do have one decent memory from that time period.  Our upstairs’ neighbors owned a deli a couple of blocks away.  I remember the little girl had rotted front teach.  I always thought that it was from eating too much candy from her parents’ store.   We used to go to the deli to get free candy.  That’s it.  That’s my good memory.  Not the rotted out teeth part, but the candy part.

We all survived our 3 month stint and it made us stronger.  Like my mom always said, “What doesn’t kill you, builds character.”  I guess those angels were back and working overtime!

Age 10 – The King is Dead and A Little Southern Snow

Major Event #1:  It was August 16, 1977 and I was sitting in my living room watching Bugs Bunny.  I do not know why I was allowed to stay in to watch TV.  The rule around our house was that we had to be outside.  The only exception was rain or vomit, and I don’t remember either occurring.  My cartoons were suddenly interrupted by a “Breaking News” announcement.  Being 10, I was immediately annoyed because my favorite cartoon was disrupted…and by the news no less!  My annoyance quickly turned to astonishment when the newscaster announced that Elvis, the King of Rock N’ Roll, was dead.  I sat there in complete disbelief.  When I finally came out of shock, I ran to my mother, who was on the phone talking to a friend.  I was frantically trying to tell her about the untimely death of the greatest singer ever, but she kept shooing me away.  I couldn’t believe the way she was reacting!  How could she continue on with her conversation when ELVIS had died?  Her world should have stopped like mine did.  I was hysterical and I wasn’t getting any sympathy from her.  Our neighbor Paula fainted upon hearing the news.  She understood my anguish.  She was supposed to see him in concert at the end of August and she claimed that I was going to go with her (my mom now says that she never would have allowed me to).  I was devastated; it completely rocked my little world.

I went to bed crying that evening.  I remember praying to Elvis really hard to show me a sign that he was with me.  I had a rocking chair in my room and I suddenly heard it creak.  A real, audible creak!  Oh my goodness, he had come!  THE Elvis had come to see little ole’ me, his biggest fan!  I ran to my parent’s room to tell them the wonderful news.  You can only imagine how that went.  It took a couple of weeks, but I started to get over the major trauma of his death.  For months, my dad would do an impression of Elvis for me — the DEAD Elvis.  That impression would send me running to my room sobbing.

Major Event #2:  A week before Christmas of that year, we had a major snow storm that closed our schools until mid-February.  The state didn’t have snow removal equipment, so we had to wait until it all melted.  My brothers and I were so excited to not have to go to school.  It was every child’s dream!  We got to go out and play in the beautiful white stuff — making snowmen and igloos, having snowball fights and making snow angels.  It was the best fun ever.  It never occurred to us that maybe we’d have to make up for lost class time.  Our excitement was soon muddied by Saturday school days that seemed to last forever.  That was the worst.  Almost as bad as Elvis dying!


I wasn’t kidding about the state not having snow removal equipment. Check out our home-made shovel. Go Dad!