A SUPER Dream Becomes a SUPER Reality (and a super DORK is revealed!)

Want to see me turn into a crazed 12-year-old girl faster than a speeding bullet? Get me in the same building as Dean Cain.

I fell for Dean when the Lois & Clark show started in 1993. I was 12. As the show progressed, my obsession with Mr. Cain grew. Specifically, I was quite taken with his Clark Kent character. Though, I certainly didn't mind the man in blue spandex either. Eventually, my entire room was lined with Dean Cain magazine tear-outs. This included a large Superman poster, which has remained on the wall of my childhood bedroom for 20 years. I finally took the poster down a year ago this month to take it with me to ComicCon, where I hoped to have Dean sign it. More on that in a moment.

Dean even has a place in my first scrapbook. I snipped this pic from the Parade Magazine and placed it right next to the dollar bill I won in the box of Coke, as you can see from my fancy Post-in Note Journaling spot. LOL

Okay, fast forward to last spring, when my friend Stace invited me to help out at the ABC 4 TV booth during ComicCon Fan X 2016. I've always wanted to experience ComicCon, and I love hanging out with this particular friend, so it was an easy yes. Of course, the fact that DEAN CAIN would be there didn't hurt either.

Not wanting to forget any of the magical details that swept me off my feet and made my super dreams take flight, I decided to blog about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I ask that no judging take place on your part. I'll warn you, that I'm about to share my own alter ego. It may not wear glasses and it's FAR from mild mannered...


The first day of ComicCon, Stace and I went for a walk over to the area known as Celebrity Row. This is where all of the celebs have booths, sell autographs and pics, and meet with fans. Each celeb had their own booth. The line-up included such actors as Agent Scully, Skinner, and Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files, Carlisle from Twilight, Lavar Burton, and many others. But the booth I was most interested in seeing belonged to Dean. He had already left for the evening, so I helped myself to some Dean shenanigans and plenty of super selfies.

I was so wrapped up in the moment, that I wasn't even paying attention to whether or not I was actually in the selfies. All I cared about was that gorgeous, larger-than-life face before me!

Oh dear... Suffice it to say, things got weird. *bluuuuush

Like a chimp in the Primate House at the zoo, I climbed around that booth like a nut, stroking the chair Dean sat in and climbing on a stool to get pics of the higher poster on his booth wall. I even said, "Look! That's the pizza he was actually eating." Gushing over TRASH! What was happening to me? I had soared straight to cloud 9.

Stace kept telling me that this was nothing compared to how I'd feel the next day when Dean was actually in the booth, but I told her this alone was enough to make me happy. Little did I know...

As my fun in the booth concluded, a ComicCon employee came over. I'm guessing she was about to ask us to leave (or at least put both feet on the floor), but since we were already on our way, we simply chatted with her a bit about how excited I was to meet Dean (as if that weren't already crystal clear).


The big day was here. I slapped on my bright red lipstick and Superman shirt, grabbed my 20-year-old poster, and got to the convention.

The first real Dean encounter was at his ComicCon panel, where he spoke to a packed house and answered questions from the audience. Stace was busy in the booth, so I went with a new friend, Jonna. I can only imagine what she must have been thinking.

We went in before the panel began. Another panel was underway, so we sat at the halfway point and I started plotting my way to the front row. I won't go into the colorful language I may have used when discussing the front-row competition that I could see making their own plans. (Alter ego at work!)

"I'm going to get us seats in the front row," I told Jonna in a hushed and VERY serious tone. "I can't wait for you, but I'll save you a seat. I have to make my move!"

And make it, I did, scoring us seats in the front row. Faster than a speeding bullet, I darted and dodged my way towards the front of the room. And like a game of Musical Chairs, I pounced on those front row seats just as those sitting in them for the previous panel thought about standing up. It wasn't my finest moment, but I was a girl on a mission.

Before Dean entered, the panel host and fellow Con staff members were "joking" about needing to keep an eye on me. I honestly think they thought I was going to storm the stage or something. I suppose such comments as "if Dean doesn't get out here soon I'm going to have a seizure" didn't help matters. (Eep! How embarrassing!)

I made instant friends with fellow Dean fans around me. We started gushing about how dreamy he was and how excited we were to meet him. It was so fun! I was in my element.

And then... Dean!


Being in the front row, I may or may not have shouted a few... PG13 comments to him throughout the event. One attendee asked if he'd ever put "the suit" back on again. He said he would and I yelled out "how about right now?" The audience laughed, not realizing I was only half joking. Another guest asked what super power he'd have if he could have one, he said that there are times when x-ray vision wouldn't be bad, to which I replied, "You're telling us!" When he looked my way, I followed that with an exaggerated wink.

When the panel concluded, I let "your so sexy!" slip. He just laughed in my direction. I then proceeded to take this selfie as he was saying farewell.

The panel alone was enough to make my year. It was such fun sitting that close to him and hearing his thoughts on this and that. But it also got my jitters up. Every time I tried to make my way to his booth following this, I couldn't bring myself to go up and say hello. So, instead, I sat in the booth and painted him a card. Seriously?! I gave him a card? Oh my... Whatadork!

Finally, it was decision time. I either had to go say hello or give up on my super dream. It was just after 7:00 PM, and he was done signing autographs at 8:00, so I had to make my move.

With all the courage I could muster, I approached his booth. But... he wasn't there!! Could he be off, responding to an inaudible call for help?! The volunteers at his booth said that he left a little early. He had been working all day without a bite to eat, so he was getting food. Gee, the nerve. A man works 9 hours straight and wants to eat?! ;) But I wasn't so level headed in the moment. Instead, I think I responded with something to the effect of, "noooooo! I've been building up the courage to come see him all day. Will he be back?!" They didn't think he'd back until the next morning and asked if I'd be there. I didn't know if I'd have a babysitter or not, which is what I told them, suddenly realizing things were starting to unravel before my eyes... 

Just then, the ComicCon employee from the night before, the one I was gushing about Dean to, happened into the booth. "Oh, it's you," she said in a friendly manner. How could she forget the nut who had been bouncing around in that very spot like a metal sphere inside a pinball machine just the night before?! I explained my sadness and she went to work. "Let me see what I can do," she said. "Oh, no no! I don't want to interrupt his eating," I lied. Well, it wasn't a complete lie. The level headed me that was somewhere in the background of my fogged state truly did want to let the man eat. Good grief! But that voice was severely overpowered by what I can only describe as "my kryptonite." Actually, it was my friend who put it this way after hearing my story, and boy was she right.

I don't know if you've ever had a chance to meet the one your heart throbbed for in those crucial formative years, but it does something to you that I can't fully explain. It's like you're immediately transported back to your 12-year-old self and become this awkward, yet full-of-hope, giddy pre-teen. However, your adult, I-know-better brain is still in there somewhere, trying to regain control. It's like that famous scene from Seinfeld, where Jerry's mind is playing chess with his... well, you know. But it's two completely different states of thinking in competition with one another. This is what I was contending with as I stood there, poster in hand, knees shaking, when...


"Sorry," he said. "I was having a taco." "No! I'm sorry. You really didn't have to come back out," I said, trying to sound composed. All the while, my legs were jello and my smile a mile wide.

PAUSE Sadly, I put this story on hold at this point. On hold for a year. I didn't know if I'd ever post it anyway, as it's VERY embarrassing to reveal my alter ego, but I did know I wanted to remember the experience and this was a good place to document. I've just come off of FanX 2017. Alas, it didn't include a Dean sighting, but I did see friends experiencing their own kryptonite, which reminded me of my own magical experience a year back and made me want to revisit this memory. I wish I hadn't dropped off at the most important part of the story, but the experience seems tattooed on my brain like the giant S on Deans muscular arm in my poster. (Yes, I realize that's a fake tatt, but you get where I'm going with this.) I'm confident this is an accurate description of what happened next, but it will lack some of the detail, which is a super bummer! Anyhoo, let's get back to it.

I hand Dean my poster, explain that it has been on my wall for 20 years, and sprinkle in "I promise I'm usually normal" about 100 times. Again, it was the battle of the brains going on, and this was my adult brain's desperate attempt to salvage the situation when it was so clearly losing.

"What's your name," Dean asked.

"Well, if you check my jr. high notebooks, it's Megan Cain," I remarked with a grin the size of the Daily Planet.

Dean just laughed and went to work signing my post.

To my darling Megan (Cain?),
Such a pleasure to know you!
Dean Cain

He was seriously such a sweetheart. If that autograph doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. Of course, that was before it was time for him to come out from behind the safety of the tall table dividing us. When it came time for pictures, I asked if I could give him a hug, but it was more like a full-body embrace. I kept squeezing his muscular arms and burying myself in his chest. Boy, did he smell good! And I was saying the stuff of a full-on crazy person. "Mmmm... You're so soft," I gushed, before my adult brain screamed DON'T TELL A MAN HE'S SOFT! "I mean, you're hard." NOT THAT EITHER "I mean you're cozy soft. I could just stay wrapped up right here all day." I was desperately trying to clarify that I meant he was perfect and cozy and comfortable, but it was a rapid downward spiral. He just laughed.

I then went on to say how I "even married a man who looks kind of like you." Ummm... creepy much? I mean, there is a definite resemblance, but I assure you I did not go out and seek a Dean lookalike to call my Mr. It was just a happy accident.

To further compliment his character, he let the ComicCon employee who had retrieved him in the first place take several photos when I technically only paid for one. The photos and autographs are how celebs make their money at these events, so this was a VERY kind thing to do. As you can see from this sequence, I was not of sound mind.

Maybe if I squeeze into him hard enough, we'll stick this way. (Sheesh!) But at least I appear relatively normal at this stage.

Uh oh! Here comes the crazy train!

Annnnddd... I have a stroke! You can see the "is this really happening?!?!" written all over my face.

Superman to the rescue. Another one of those cozy hugs seems to do the trick and put my feet back on the ground.

But the momentary calm was short lived. As it was time for me to go, he KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK! I thought I'd die, right there on the spot. He went on to thank ME, saying I made him feel good about himself. What a kind thing to say and do. He should feel good about himself. He's a warm, friendly, giving gentleman who knows how to make a super fan feel fantastic, all while she's probably freaking him out.

He later went on to like my tweet when I posted this photo. You know I screenshotted that moment for the scrapbook!

All in all, it was an experience of a lifetime, and I have Stace Hasegawa to thank. It's no secret I'm a Dean fan. My bedroom wall may no longer be wallpapered in Teen Beat tear-outs of him (Cory might frown on that a little), but I'm still quick to gush if the topic of childhood crushes or sexy celebs comes up. Just yesterday, he came up in a text convo my family was having about Dancing with the Stars.

A few days before that, I had received this text from a friend.

Stace even made me a Dean ring once. LOL Just a joke to say she appreciates my hysteria.

By now, I know what you must be thinking--someone warn Dean to get a restraining order. I don't blame you. This all must seem super nutty. I assure you I'm fairly levelheaded. I'm just trying to illustrate that my thang for Mr. Cain is pretty well known. It's kind of a joke. I mean, I'm a happily married woman. But it's something that still comes up in conversation and gives us all a good laugh. So, for Stace to call and offer me a coveted Con ticket so I could have this experience was by far the coolest thing ever!

Today, a year later, I still think back on this and smile from ear to ear. A big item was checked off my bucket list that day, and I can never thank Stace or Dean or that ComicCon employee (oh, how I wish I knew who she was) enough for making super dreams come true.

Dean, in the VERY SLIM chance you happen upon this someday, I want to thank you. You made my awkward jr. high years much more fun. At a time when I was the last thing on a boy's mind, you were there, in your charming Clark Kent way, proving to me that men were different. Oh, sure, you were playing a part, but it was an important part that resonated with so many. I know I can't be alone in feeling as I do. And it was deeper than just a girl crushing on a gorgeous face. The Clark Kent role proved and continues to prove to girls that women can be strong, independent, smart, and defiant, and men will still melt for them. The premise of this story is timeless and one that gives girls the world over a good gauge of equality and true love. And you brought that story to life at just the time in my life that it mattered most. I happened to be in journalism at school when Lois & Clark aired, and I knew I wanted to grow up a Lois and find my Clark. I like to think that--the real super dream--also came true!




Rules (or lack thereof) of Social Engagement

I’ve had something on my mind. Social media and expectations, as well as social media and judgement. You know why I signed up for Facebook back in… 2009 (I think)? My friend Jennafer said I should. That was it. LOL No expectations. No demands. Same for Instagram, though two years later. A friend signed me up as we stood in line, waiting to order some of Nashville’s best BBQ. (Thanks, April!)

Today, both games have changed, haven’t they? It’s almost like there are unspoken rules of engagement. For starters, I’m told you should be brief. We all know I suck at this one. This post actually started life as a FB post, but I realized it was a little out of control, and moved it here. Shall we continue?

The funny thing about rules of engagement is people seem to be of two very different mindsets. Where do I sit? Honestly? I didn’t know.

This question has rattled around in my head a bunch lately, mostly due to a few recent interactions. One came in the form of private FB message from a college friend. It was a nice note, wishing me a happy birthday that concluded with this: “I just wanted to say that your posts are really refreshing, I always like folks that feel like they can be an open book […]. The good, the bad, and the frustrating. Always be real!”

Just before receiving this note, another expressed concern over my ability to continue working in this industry I do if I continue to share as I have. This was not meant to be harsh. More as advice from another who works in the same industry and wants me to succeed.

These aren’t isolated incidents. I’ve received unsolicited feedback like this many times over the years. Sometimes saying it’s best to say less. Other times, thanking me for saying as much as I do. No wonder I find myself a bit confused.

Then there’s the fake vs. real in what we portray. This one applies more to Instagram. Some say it’s best to be real. Others are all about going to great lengths to stage the image they’re presenting. I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle on this one, sharing looks at my home life with family and friends, as well as staged shots of the creative work I do. Yes, it is a hobby. A hobby I love. But it’s also how I bring home the bacon bits.

A while back, a friend was saddened when someone posted about how we shouldn’t use photo filters. It really left her feeling unsure. Shamed, even. I see both sides of the coin. Filters are just another layer between reality and what we portray as reality. They’re artificial, in a way. On the other hand, isn’t that the point? If I can add a little Valencia to make my tired mama eyes look a little less tired, is there anything wrong with doing so? If it gives me a slight boost of confidence in a world where my confidence is slipping at a rapid pace, isn’t that a good thing?

No filter. Chin chub. Sleeping bags beneath the eyes. Oh, did I say this already? No filter!

Filtered, both to soften the rough and also to support the story I was telling with this particular image. A funny tale about a night gone VERY wrong that I shared on FB.

What about the photos that I really deck out? You know, like some of my outdoor shots where I’ve enhanced the blue of the sky to appear almost turquoise and added a sun flair or light burst to, ahem, lighten the mood? Is that a no-no or is it art?

I love the creative expression photography offers, but I also understand how when I look back on that trip to the water tower years from now, the sky as it truly was will be a forgotten memory. Is that bad? Does it somehow cheapen my experience and my capture of it?

Last night, as I was reading Essentials: Essays by The Minimalists (I know, I know—obsess much?—but they are SO good), I came to this, which really resonated with me.

“It’s a matter of congruency. For the longest time, I lead two separate lives. Corporate me was prim and proper—extensively flawless. Then there was creative me. Flawed and beautiful. Beautiful because of the flaws, perhaps. I kept the two separated. Over time, this took its toll. Living two separate lives was exhausting. Even disingenuous. Instead of hiding one half from the other, I decided to change my activity to align both halves… Your online persona should be a mirror of you and nothing to be ashamed of. For me, there isn’t an online self and a real life self, just my self. Whether I speak to a crowd of people, write something online, or have a private conversation with a friend, my life is congruent.”

Joshua Fields Millburn continued. I was messing with the iPad at the time, so I jotted the notes down for this part. Hope you can read my chicken scratch.

In the chance you can’t read that last bit, it’s worth restating:

“Deciding what’s private and what’s public is a personal matter. Share whatever you like. Just don’t be ashamed of who you are. Shame is ugly and you’re FAR TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR THAT!”

Isn’t that it, right there?

We ARE far too beautiful to feel shame over items shared. Post a pic of your messy house? Good for you! Post a pic of the one small corner of your home that ISN’T messy? I’m right there with ya! Write on FB about your crummy day? I hope you find some comfort in the replies. Write a FB post about your awesome day? Excellent! Enjoy celebrating with others!

As far as I’m concerned, rules shouldn’t apply as long as the messages and images abide by basic rules of public decency. It is a public space, after all. No shoes? No shirt? No service! Okay, okay, shoeless may enter. As much as I dislike feet (especially my own), I’m not about to block another for their cute pedi pic. And I’m not going to hit the “report” button at the first site of a topless Dean Cain. But it is a public domain, and I shouldn’t have to fear my daughter seeing bare bosoms if she happens to enter with me. And no perpetuating hate or hurt. Period. That business gets blocked and breaks my “rules” quickly.

Of course, saying all of this, I can still think of a post or two I regret. One in particular. It was about Cory's choice to work over the holidays. That's his story, his decision, and his to share or not. Hurt, I made it my own and said more than I should have. I guess it's all about finding a comfortable balance, which is something I still work at.

Why? Is that what you’re asking at this point? Why this post? I don’t know. I guess because these thoughts have been rolling round ’n’ round in my head for weeks, and I wanted to put a stop to the spin cycle. Thanks for visiting this here washateria (Mom's way of saying "laundromat.") No shaming. Just enjoy your beautiful self doing your beautiful thang!


As Seen on TV: Bullet Journaling + My New Planner Class!

If you love creative planners -- day planners with a scrapbooking twist -- you may already be aware of bullet journals. It's time to take a shot. Get it? Bullet... shot. Yeah, weak. Let's move on! ;)

Bullet journals are basically list-oriented journals that you can use to capture any details of your life that appeal to you. It can be more task driven or more favorites focused. Or, as with many journals (including mine), a combination of both!

Bullet Journal Supplies

First, let's talk supplies. Doesn't get much easier than this, friends. A journal, a pen, a pencil, a solid eraser, and a ruler. If you want to add some color to the mix, colored pencils are an easy option.

I highly recommend a fine-tipped pen, like the Micron .01. I also use the Micron Brush Tip and the Micron Color Tips. I don't work for Micron or anything. This is just a great pen and worth checking out!

My journal is the new (and awesome!!!) travel journal from Freckled Fawn (the white with the hearts)! Heidi Swapp has also just launched a planner specifically with bullet journaling in mind (the black one) that is pretty fab! The travel journal is actually the heart cover, and the inserts snap in with the attached band. The kraft booklet below is the insert for the journal. I like this one because the paper is thicker and I could dress it up without much bleed-through.

If you want to step your supplies up a little, you can introduce washi tape, stickers, clips, and other decorative extras. Totally your call! Clips are great for hold the journal pages open, both for photo-taking and working in your journal. These AWESOME jumbo paperclips are part of my planner class kit for March. Yay! (More on that below.)

Once you have your supplies, it's a matter of deciding on a preferred purpose for your journal. For me, this meant searching bullet journals on Instagram (#bulletjournal) and Instagram, screenshotting the images that made me happy, and then going back over those images to help identify my style preferences. I quickly realized I was into capturing details creatively using doodles. But first, a key...


If you're going to use your journal to track tasks, a key is useful. Again, decide on a system that works for you. For me, it was as simple as this:

open box = task
box with diagonal line = task in progress
box filled in with diagonal lines = task complete
box with line across middle = task cancelled
box with arrow in it = task migrated (moved or changed)
exclamation point next to a box = task priority
circle = event
clock = appointment
heart = special

Now, time to get creative with some doodled list making. Fun!

Home Goals List

I have so many things I want to do around my home. The list grows with each passing year. Until now, that list has all been in my head for the most part. Now it has a place to live and feel organized. LOVE! I simply doodled a house, including boxes for each of the spaces in our home. From there, I listed goals for each space, using my to-do coding seen in my Key.

Gratitude List

When I'm looking for a little sunshine on those cloudy days (and the sunny ones, actually), I like to think of things I'm grateful for. This gives me a space to capture those happy thoughts. I drew a circle in the center of the page, which I colored using colored pencils. The sun rays are made from various strips of gold washi tape. Skinny tape works well, leaving you more room to write.

Habit Tracker + Spending

Not as fun, but still important. Many use bullet journals in this way nearly exclusively. It's a great way to track days, weeks, months, habits, spending, goals, etc.

This one took a bit more work to sketch out, but some journals come with lines and boxes that would make it easier. I drew mine. Not perfect, but that's okay. It doesn't have to be. If you find yourself without a ruler at 3:00 AM, washi tape works in a pinch. ;)

My journal grows by the day. It's SO MUCH FUN! I'll be sure to bring it to my next planner class so you can have a closer look, take pics, ask questions, etc. Speaking of the class...

Forget the hammer, it's PLANNER time! (Upcoming planner class in Lehi, Utah!)

I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was to teach at Paper Crush this month. Those who attended the class came strangers and left friends. Many asked if we could do it again. Twist my arm. ;) Of course!

A Date to Create Planner Class
Where: Paper Crush in Lehi, Utah
Date: Friday, March 24
Time: 7-9 PM
Sign Up: Visit the Paper Crush website to sign up.
Open to all, whether you took the first class or not. I'll make sure everyone is up to speed and ready to play. :) Space is limited.

I sure hope you can join us. A good time will be had by all. I know that's a bold prediction, but it's hard to not have fun when visiting one of Utah's cutest stores (seriously!), enjoying discounted shopping, playing with paper, meeting new friends, and devouring tasty snacks.

DIY Planner/Journal Inserts Made with We R Memory Keepers Tools

One technique we'll cover in class is how to make your own planner and journal inserts using an awesome tool by We R Memory Keepers--the Tab Punch Board. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of a brand new We R product, The Planner Punch, which is out in May.

It punches holes to fit MANY different planner types and sizes. So great! The We R Memory Keepers Tab Punch Board will be used in class so you can get a better feel for customizing options. It's a great way to put patterned paper to use and make your planners and journals more unique to you.

I cut the page below from watercolor paper, punched it with both punches, and added watercolor paint to create a bullet journal Create List. I'll bring paint to my planner class so you can play, too. Or not. Totally your call on how you choose to customize! The idea with a Create List is to put projects to make on it. I'll fill in each of my painted bubbles with my many crafting goals. If seeing the 'after' interests you, keep an eye on my Instagram. I'll share it there soon.

Finally, if you're interested in seeing all of this in action, you can check out my Studio 5 segment today at 11. It's like a happy Show & Tell of bullet journaling. I hope it leaves you feeling inspired!



Scrapbooking a Full Month on a Single Layout (as seen in SCT magazine)

Hi there! If you’re here from the Winter 2016 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today, welcome! If not, this technique comes from that issue. It’s all about phone-booking. Not the Yellow Pages variety. The make-a-scrapbook-on-your-phone variety! I created a great portion of this layout using apps on my phone.

The apps I used were:
Project Life
Collect App

The idea of this layout is simple—capture a full month on a single scrapbook page. It’s an awesome solution for a busy person. And, really, who isn’t busy?

But I couldn’t let me paper passion go, so I also added in some paper pieces from the absolutely divine Snow & Cocoa collection from Crate Paper. This kind of digital-meets-paper project is known as hybrid.

Here’s how to do it to it:

Step 1: Create a Calendar

At each month’s end, I create a calendar highlight reel of my month using the Collect App. To my knowledge, this app is still only on Apple. If anyone knows for sure or knows of an Android calendar app that’s comparable, please let me know.


Step 2: Create a Photo Collage

I used the Project Life app to create this collage.

I also created a second collage for the left side of my two-page spread. I used the same Project Life page spread and just dropped in extra photos in the slots I wasn't going to use on this layout. Photos I knew I could use to scrapbook elsewhere.

This is how the pages looked when the excess was removed and what was left was put together.

I used the following Project Life kits to create this page: Dreamy Edition, Hello December, and ABC Themed Cards (White and Gray). There are so many kits to choose from. Coming up with combos is half the fun! Or you can stick with a single theme/kit.

Once I had these components together, It was simply a matter of printing. I printed smaller than 12x12 (added a white border to size it down). I did this so I had some wiggle room to dress it up with traditional paper products.

This hybrid approach is one I take often when scrapbooking. The on-the-phone portion allows me to quickly capture details as life is happening. And the tactile potion feeds my paper addiction and allows me to have fun being creative with my supplies. It's a nice balance for a busy mama.

I had so much fun writing this article. To see how others captured their month at a glance, I invite you to check out our Winter 2016 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine, available now. There are some super cute ideas waiting for you. :)

No matter how you document it, I hope your month is a glorious one. Cheers!