Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Daily Days 9-11

Three more days to share with you today.  The more I look at this album, the more I am so happy that I did it.  Working on this mini really got me back in the swing of things as far as scrapbooking, which is wonderful because I have been in such a creative funk lately.  Can't wait to start Project Life 2012 and complete some layouts I have been thinking about.

December 9

Day 9 consisted of baking 14 dozen cookies for a cookie swap I attended on the 10th.  I tried a new cookie recipe that Becky Higgins shared on her blog.  Apparently they were really good (at least they smelled good).  I am not a chocolate mint kind of girl so I wasn't even tempted to try one.  The large snowflakes on the left are actually the gift tags that were on the presents Santa left under the tree.

December 10 

Admist a very busy day we went tree hunting.  I love how this page came out.  The fabric tag is a retired CTMH product that I have been hoarding because I just love them and didn't want to run out (I have issues...I know).  I finally figured out how to use my sewing machine and stitched it on.

December 11 ~ 

Decorating the tree.  I always have a hard time capturing this process.  I don't know if it is the set up of my room or the fact that I am shooting into the window.  I do love the picture I was able to get of the tree all decorated though.  I used one of Ali Edwards December Daily Layered Overlays available at Designer Digitals to create the collage of some of our ornaments.  I have never used Photoshop before because it frightens me, but after a few hours of youtube tutorials...I can work a layered template like a champ!

I used the December Daily format & overlays that Ali Edwards uses and many of my journaling prompts/story ideas came from Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class that I participated in this year. Click on either of the links above for more information on both of these concepts.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December Daily Days 1, 4 & 7

I am finally at a point where I can share my December Daily.  I am not quite finished as I am waiting for a few pictures and have a few pages to complete, but my book is almost complete and I am so happy with it.  I wanted to share right along all month, but I just don't have the time to craft each I needed to get over my mini book anxiety & perfectionist attitude before I could truly enjoy the process.

I will be sharing my book over the next week.  This was quite the undertaking but I will most definitely be back to complete another for 2012 as I am so happy to have these memories documented.


Inside front cover/title page:

The cover is a Teresa Collins chipboard cover that I purchased last year for my album (which caused all the anxiety as I was afraid to step out of my 12x12 box).  I printed Tis the Season with my printer on Kraft cardstock and made the little Christmas 2011 embellishment with my computer, some CTMH Holiday Collection Ribbon and a scrap of Anna Griffin patterned paper.  The embellishment is an idea I totally copied from Jenni Hufford.  I love her style and have used many of her ideas as well as many others throughout my book.  Scrap lifting and browsing other pages as they were posted really helped keep my mojo going when I ran out of ideas or started doubting myself.

December 1 ~

This picture is actually from 11/30 but I am ok with that as it was the absolutely perfect beginning to the holiday season.

 December 4 ~

We attended the annual children's Christmas party on Base today.  I wasn't able to snap any pictures of JT to use here as he was off with friends on the bounce house and eating cookies.  Kelsey is on her third year of volunteering as an elf so I was able to get a few of her and a group photo with Mr. & Mrs. Claus.  The back side of the insert is an instagram I printed of the kids in the truck on the way to the party.  The tree on the left page is a one of the crafts JT made that day.

 December 7 ~

Day 7 included the kid's wish lists for Santa.  We stopped mailing them a few years ago when our elf Carl came to stay with us...he brings them to Santa now.  I did take a picture though of the Santa mailbox when I was at the Post Office this week.  When JT is a bit older, I will include the story of the mailbox and how the letters get answered, but for now, the picture is perfect.  The Dear Santa arrows are cut out from clip art on my computer and the idea is courtesy of Ali Edwards.

I will be back with more tomorrow.

I used the December Daily format & overlays that Ali Edwards uses and many of my journaling prompts/story ideas came from Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class that I participated in this year.  Click on either of the links above for more information on both of these concepts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Christmas cards are done

Modern Christmas Christmas
Seasons greetings with personalized Christmas cards from Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
Every year I tell myself that I will have the pictures done and the cards out early.  Every year I wait until the last minute and end up paying extra to get them to me so I can mail them out in time for the 25th.  But, every year, I don't really stress about it.  It seems more and more people are opting out of cards (evidenced by the decreasing number we receive each year) or sending them late like me.  I attempted to print at Walmart, CVS or Walgreens this year to save postage and take advantage of 1 hour processing, but wouldn't you know it none of the designs worked right with my pictures (mostly orientation issues) so I went with Shutterfly because I usually have good luck with their quality and shipping speed.

So, for those of you not on my mailing list (which I have paired down this year as well).  Please enjoy our Christmas card and have yourself a merry little Christmas.


PS - I am working hard on my December Daily and hope to take a break from baking, cleaning & wrapping some time this week to post my first few pages.

PPS - Shutterfly is not endorsing this post nor have they asked for my opinion.  I did receive a $10 credit from the site for opting to embed my purchased card onto my blog, I am pretty sure anyone can receive this by doing so as I had the option after my purchase.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Muffin Monday: Six Week Muffins (Raisin Bran Muffins)

I know it is Tuesday, but I am back with another edition of Muffin Monday for you. 

Several years ago my mother in law gave me this recipe that she had made when my husband was young.  Bob loves these muffins and requests them often.  This is a large batch recipe (56 muffins) but the great thing is the batter will last in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks so you can make up a batch of muffins quick and easy in the morning.  The muffins are unlike your typical fluffy muffin.  These are dense and chewy but really yummy and go well with a cup of coffee.

Six Week Muffins
1 box (15 oz) raisin bran
3 cups sugar
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups flour
1 quart buttermilk
1 cup oil
4 beaten eggs

1)  Preheat oven to 375 deg.
2)  In a very large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients mixing well to combine.
3)  Fill cups 1/2 to 2/3 full and back @ 375 deg for 20 minutes.
4)  Store remaining batter in fridge for up to 6 weeks.
**8 cups raisin bran is needed if using a larger box or economy bag.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Project Life

Have you heard of Project Life?  It is a concept designed by Becky Higgins to document your everyday life.  I had heard of it a few years ago, about the same time I attempted and failed miserably at Project 365 (one photo a day).  I guess I viewed Project Life as a way of scrapbooking your P365 photos and therefore didn't think twice about it. 

But then I heard about it again, and again and thought that maybe it was something I would like to try but honestly, I was a bit hesitant.  I have this hang up with going outside the box and that is what I considered Project Life to be. (My whole fear of Journal Your Christmas/December Daily which I also failed miserably at last year is a whole other post...let's us just say it started and ended with panic attacks over album size!)  I was a traditional scrapbooker afterall.  I enjoyed the creative process.  I love the embellishments and the pretty paper.  I wasn't too sure Project Life was for me.  

Truth be told.  I wasn't actually a traditional scrapbooker either.  I wanted to be.  I used to be.  I still consider myself one but I haven't been able to sit down and complete a layout in a longer time than I wish to admit.  I miss the creative process.  I miss the pretty paper.  I miss documenting my family's life.  All that missing makes me sad.

Earlier this year (May I think), I got it in my head that I would start Project Life.  I was following Ali Edwards' take on it and swooning each and every time she posted.  I was still torn but decided I would take the jump.  So I started collecting bits and pieces.  I started taking more pictures of the everyday things and not just the special occasions.  I ordered an album to house it all and some photo sleeves.  I scoured the web for inspiration and that was it.  It sat. 

I can't explain why.  I think I was hung up on it being May and I really wanted to keep a whole year together (that out of the box hang up again).  Going back to the beginning seemed overwhelming to me and I didn't want this process to be overwhelming, but...I wanted to do Project Life.  I want to do Project Life and so I finally am.

I spent the last week or two going through my pictures from January through now.  I organized my favorites, or those from the events I want to document, into weeks.  Not approaching my picture taking for Project life from the beginning left me with quite a few weeks where there were no pictures or only a few.  For those weeks I will be doing two weeks together or in some cases (like January) I plan on doing a month in review.  The great thing that I have learned about Project Life is that there are no rules, you approach it how you need to and make it work for you. 

I am (im)patiently waiting for my pictures to arrive (so happy I was able to take advantage of a great print sale on Snapfish).  I plan on going through and doing the easy weeks first.  Those that I have all my everyday filler items all ready to go.  Then start with the present and work backwards.  I think organization is going to be the key.  I think working in chunks of time, one week at a time and not getting overwhelmed with finishing it all at one sitting is going to be the perfect mindset. I have already starting cutting bits of leftover patterned paper to use, and journaling cards as well as pulling out flat embellishments from my stash.  I am ready to go and have a solution to my hang up about not having a year in one book. 

I am excited to start and will document my weeks here as I go along.  Just please bear in mind that they will be all over the place.  My only goal for completion is to be done with this album and ready to go from the beginning for 2012.  I think that is doable.  Although I am using what I have in my stash for my 2011 album (with the exception of the photo sleeves and album) I am seriously considering ordering the Clementine Project Life kit when it is available on Amazon...we'll see.

I am working on pulling together a list of blogs that I frequently drool over when they post their PL updates.  These are my main source of PL inspiration and the reason I have decided to take the plunge....or stop wishing (gawking) and just do it.  Stay tuned this week for a post with that list.

Wish me luck. 

and on a side Week in the Life album is almost done and one of the main reasons I fell back in love with the Project Life concept.  I will share soon. Oh and the JYC/DD fiasco I mentioned above?  Well, I might have conquered my fear on that too...I will be trying again this year...more on that to come soon as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Muffin Monday ~ Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

I know, I know it has been forever, but my dear friends, I really hope that now that I am not knee deep in clutter and fall sports are winding down this week that I can end my blogging hiatus and get back in the swing of things.

So...that being said, I would like to introduce Muffin Monday. 

My husband works a 5/4/9 schedule, which roughly translates to him having every other Monday off.  Being the good boss' wife that I am, and nuturing my love for baking and feeding other people, I have designated his work Mondays to be Muffin Monday.  I figured if the boys have to work on Monday, they might as well start their week off with a smile (and a yummy muffin). 

I have my old standbys but there is nothing like using a bunch of hungry (and appreciative) military men as guinea pigs for new recipes I have found on the web.  Pretty much every other Monday I will be sharing here the Muffin Monday muffin recipe....I scour the web searching for yummy recipes so you don't have to.

photo credit

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple

Streusel topping:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
2.  In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten.  Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3.  In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
4.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2011 Project List - updated

I have been a busy little bee this summer (actually more like in the 2 weeks that Bob was in Alaska for work).  I decided to dredge up the 2011 Project list that I posted back in January and actually get started on it.  Looking at it, I had such ambition, but it is so much easier to get it down on paper (or the internet) than to actually do it.  Those 2 weeks gave me the kick in the pants that I needed and I am busily working away on the rest of the goals.  Can I do it by the end of November?  I sure hope so as I fully plan on taking December slow and enjoying the holiday season and my family this year.

Here is what I have done and what I plan on still accomplishing (in progress tasks are in red):

paint trim (whole house) - downstairs done, now upstairs
paint front interior door
paint/refurbish interior doors
finish sofa table
paint kitchen / wall decor
replace remaining light switches
paint JT's baseboard
touch up JT's walls
paint/refinish stairs
window frame
paint fireplace cover
picture wall in living room
paint upstairs hallway
fix living room ceiling
touch up kitchen ceiling/office ceiling/walls
clean/organize/decorate office
clean/organize office closet
magazines read/purge
organize magazine clippings
purge cookbooks
organize recipes
print pics/develop film
stamp storage (boxes./organize)
organize pics on computer
back up pics on external hard drive
purge email
purge/organize my docs
purge/organize my favorites
establish & maintain filing system
clean/organize garage
clean/organize/purge basement
redecorate master bedroom
strip paper in Dining Room/paint
replace Dining room blinds- they are removed, now just what to replace them with....
redo upstairs bath
redecorate Kelsey's room
refurbish desk for Kelsey's room
organize spice cabinet
build pantry

I still have a lot to do.  Some might get moved to 2012 as I have added a few things to the mix resulting from changing a few rooms up in the house (my dining room is actually now a dining room) and acquiring/rearranging a few new pieces.  More on that soon...I am in mid progress, but have sneak peaks to share too. 

For those of you who follow my blog for not fret, I have been busy with that as well and hope to share a few projects, including my completed A Week in the Life album within the next week of 2.

Thanks for your patience everyone...

back to work.


Monday, August 29, 2011

back to our regularly scheduled programming...

hello, hello!

Just checking in real quick to let you know that I am still around, still alive and still planning on keeping this blog going.

August was eventful.  Bob went to Alaska for 2 weeks.  JT started football practice for 3 hours a night/5 days a week.  Kelsey started field hockey 3 nights a week.  Sara started puppy class. In between shuttling here and there,  I stripped wall paper, painted 2 rooms and a hallway (including all the trim), switched around 3 rooms, redecorated, went to a few antique shops to accessorize and appropriated some pieces from my parents house.  We had weddings, Jack & Jills, a wedding party (for my step daughter) here, and countless other things that are not the norm and therefore I decided that I would take August off from blogging.

I had planned to be back on track today, but mother nature threw us a curve ball and Hurricane Irene (Tropical Storm Irene when it reached us) decided to hit Western Massachusetts overflowing rivers, flooding roads and postponing the first day of school for my kiddos.

Fingers crossed, I will be back to blogging tomorrow.  I have so much to share from redecorating, to party planning, to scrapbooking!  And, while I am sharing what has been happening over the summer with you all, I am also working on a few new fun things that should be ready by the time I run out of back logged posts!

So...stay tuned, we will back to our regularly scheduled programing very soon.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

a week in the life ~ friday

Number of photos for Friday ~ 64

I am slightly disappointed in my pictures for today.  Even though I have 64 photos, most of them are blurry or exist because I took multiple shots of the same thing, so the actual number of useable photos is pretty small.  I just didn't have the camera out as often today, and I am not sure why as I have been full force all week.  Could be because my Facebook status (which I haven't downloaded the screen shot from my phone yet) read:  "today is turning out to be a 3 shot of Vodka kind of night"...well, I will think of something to fill in the space.  

Here are some of my favorites for Friday:

 contemplating the day...the calm before the storm

JT came downstairs dressed as Scooby Doo.  Sara did not like it one bit.

 Kelsey's last baby tooth is just about out.  I love this shot because it shows both the baby tooth, hanging on by a thread and her adult tooth pushing through...there is just so much symbolism in this picture (sigh).

 Yeah, it has been one of those days.

 Friday mornings is movie day.  I need the time to finish up those last minute things around the house so I can unwind and spend time with my family on the weekend.

 Pancakes for lunch.

 Marinades waiting for my chicken that is on the grill.  I grill up about 6 - 8 pieces every few days for salads and snacks.

Daddy's home.  He gets this greeting every single day.

Saturday pictures will be posted tomorrow.  I can't believe this week is almost over. 

A week in a life is inspired by Ali Edwards.  For more information, please visit the information page on Ali's Blog.

a week in the life ~ thursday

 Number of Photos for Thursday ~ 64

Amazingly I am still going strong. I have realized so much about my life, our life, during this week.  Things I love, and things...well, not so much.  Not only has this week given me the chance to record the every day moments, the little things that make up our life right now, but it has given me the chance to look at things differently and see what really needs to be changed.

Here are some of my favorites from Thursday:

my eyes

the never ending list.  Each week I write out a list for the week and then transfer tasks to my planner for the day.  I need to keep everything in view to keep me on track each and every day.

the essentials.  Bob starting packing for his training deployment.

 the entertainment:  collecting frogs.

the bath & body works annex - my bathroom cabinet.  I might have a slight obsession with yummy smelling soap.

the DVR.  Of course this is just page 1 but it shows my recordings and the fact that I really never get a chance to watch tv during the summer.  When the kids are in school I watch a show while I fold laundry, which I rarely have time to do during the summer either.

the routine.  Every Thursday Bob golfs in a league after work and the kids and I head to the library for books, a movie or 2 and then go home for pizza and a movie night.

the haul.  Kelsey rarely takes books out of the library because she reads non stop on her Kindle.  JT rarely takes books out of the library because it is like pulling teeth to get him to read.  He has the Wimpy Kid series and the first How to Train a Dragon book which he will read but usually it is a battered lego magazine that will keep his interest.

I will be back soon with Friday.

A week in a life is inspired by Ali Edwards.  For more information, please visit the information page on Ali's Blog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

a week in the life ~ wednesday

Number of photos for Wednesday - 58: narrowed down to 28

Today I found myself snapping photos around the house of things just laying around, although I thought I took more than I actually ended up with.  I still feel I have a good representation of our everyday. 

Here are some of my favorites from Wednesday:

5:45 am - I get up before Bob each morning to make him coffee and his breakfast & lunch.  I have been doing this for years...although everyone tells me I am too good to him.  I enjoy it though and it saves money and keeps him healthy. 

 8:15 am - getting settled in.  A little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I make breakfast, change over the laundry and get things going for the day.

 Sara making sure the kids are safe while they play outside.

This is so typical.  One shoe on, one shoe off...all day, everyday.

 Ran out of a few "essentials" so a quick stop on the way to Tae Kwon Do.  I also had to pick Bob up some beef jerky for him to have on the plane when he leaves for Alaska Saturday.  Eight hours and military flights do not have flight attendants or in flight meals.

 Bob remembered to snap some photos today with his iphone.  I had to send him reminders but he sent me a few good ones.  I love my man in uniform.

I end the night every night reading.  Sometimes it takes forever to finish a book because I am often so tired that I can only get thruogh a few pages before the words start blurring together.  Sometimes one of the kids will sit in bed with me and read too.  Kelsey will read on her Kindle but when it is JT, we read a book together outloud (or I do most of the reading).  We are reading the Chronicles of Narnia right now.  I don't really have a specific type of book that I like to read, but I have been reading alot of historical fiction lately and really like it.  My mom recommended this book.  So far it is an easy read and pretty good.  I am told I will cry...

Stay tuned for Thursday's pictures tomorrow.

Week in the Life is a photography project by Ali Edwards. For more information, please visit Ali's blog.


Related Posts with Thumbnails