Thanks so much to all of you for the great ideas! I ended up in Wal-Mart yesterday and actually had a much better experience there! Yes, the choices were more limited but for some reason they had exactly what I had in mind.
I decided on a black 12 x 12 album and a basic color scheme of black/gray/cream. I feel really good about the paper I chose because it's recycled. I've been reading quite a bit lately about the environmental impact of scrapbooking so I'm trying to be as earth-friendly as possible with this new hobby. In addition to the K&Company paper above, I also got a gorgeous tablet of mixed media that appears to be made by Wal-Mart under the "Best Occasions" line. I can't seem to find out anything about it online but the designs are just gorgeous, will share pics with you when we some pages are completed. I also got some glue, corner rounder, etc, ended up spending about $50.00 on everything. Not bad considering what I would have spent at Michaels!
I'm really excited about this NY scrapbook project because Kali has agreed to create it with me! We're going to set aside a morning or lunchtime per week to work on it, think it will be a great opportunity for me to learn from her as well as have some nice mother-daughter time!
I'll keep you all posted on our progress.