Saturday, January 17, 2015

Influenster Reese's Box

Hey everyone!  I have another Influenster box to share.  I got this recently to test and give my opinion.  Let me tell you, it didn't last long.  I didn't even get a chance to video or take pictures before the jar was!  I explain in my video below.  For more on the Influenster program and to get a free box of your own, please go check out their website and sign up:

Have a great week!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My 2015 Reading List

Every year, I make a reading goal.  Usually it's a number of books I want to read.  The past couple of years, I haven't met my goal.  I went from 50, to 45, to 40.  For 2014, my goal was 40.  I've read 14.... So, as the pattern shows, I'm not reading as much as I used to.  And that bothers me.  I've always been a reader.  A quick reader.  Lately, I've been concentrating on other things, such as scrapbooking.  And I'm a stay-at-home mom, so honestly, by the time I crawl into bed, I'm dead tired.  I read for maybe ten minutes and I'm falling asleep with my Kindle or book dropping onto my chest.  I want to make reading more of a priority in 2015.  That will mean heading to bed earlier.  That will mean reading more during the day when my girls are behaving enough for me to sneak in a chapter or two.  That will mean taking my book to school pick-up instead of playing Candy Crush for 20 minutes.  I want to read more non-fiction.  I want to read more faith-based books.  And, I found this list posted on a Kindle group that I follow.  As soon as I saw it, I immediately printed it out and stuck it into my planner.  This is my new goal for 2015.  There are 50 books here, so that's a lofty goal, but I'm going to try.  Even if it comes down to knocking out two checkmarks with one book.  I'm going to TRY not to do that, but we'll see how it goes.  I just want to enjoy reading again.  I think this list will help.  What's on your to-read list for 2015?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Erin Condren Life Planner

I LOVE my Erin Condren Life Planner.  I first heard about them through the Studio Calico message boards.  As soon as I saw them and watched a few YouTube videos, I ordered one.  I have just received my THIRD planner and I'm excited to share with you how I plan to use it for 2015.  Here is my video of my planner and plans on how to utilize it to fit my needs.  Enjoy!

Please feel free to leave me any questions you might have!

Here is the Jennifer McGuire video I reference:

Here is my Erin Condren referral link to receive $10.00 off your first order with them!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Influenster ModaVox Box

Hey everyone!  I stumbled upon the Influenster site while watching one of my favorite YouTubers, JAMBeauty89.  She mentioned the site and I headed over to check it out.  Basically, you create a profile, take some quizzes, and there's a good chance you will receive a box of free items to test out, review and share.  How cool is that?  I was lucky enough to receive this awesome ModaVox Box!  Here's a little video explaining it and showing what's in the box.  I'll be using all of these products for the month of November and then doing a review video and post on what I think of the products.  For more on the Influenster program, go check out their site!

And here is my review video:

I hope this was helpful!  Have a great week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Say hello to my new favorite holiday album!

Each year I get so excited to listen to holiday music and see who releases holiday albums.  This year, two really stuck out at me.

First, Pentatonix...holy crap!  I saw this video floating around Facebook and when I watched it, I just cried like a a baby.  I immediately went and downloaded the whole album and it's just so so good!  I have a feeling this will be a go-to holiday album for me for a long time!  Here's the video:

Second, I love love love Idina Menzel.  Her voice is just magic.  When I saw she had a holiday album this year, I jumped right in.  And then I saw this video and just smiled through the whole thing.  Love!

I will also be pulling out this album from last year that is one of my favorites as well!  Time to heat up some hot chocolate and get into the holiday spirit!  What are your favorite holiday albums?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

December Daily 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like December Daily!  Around this time of year, people start thinking and planning out their December Daily albums.  I'm one of those people.  I'm pulling out my Christmas scrappy supplies and putting together a kit for myself to use.  I'm starting to do some prep like getting my cover page done, working on my numbers and getting some big elements ready.  I love Christmas and I'm so happy that there's a special project that helps me to document it every year in a creative way.  If you want to see more about the concept of December Daily, head over to Ali Edwards' blog and check it out.  It's really awesome!  I put together a video showing some of my past December albums if you want a good peek into my interpretation of it.  And Layla makes a special appearance.  If you want some more videos to check out, head over to AuntREcREates and OhSnapGonzo youtube channels.  They have awesome December Daily videos up.  I'm still drooling over OhSnapGonzo's coffee cup numbers!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Layout-A-Week

How in the WORLD is it November already???  Holy cow!  Let's start off this month with a fun page for Layout-A-Week!  I have a video tutorial over there on how I made these cute handmade presents for Layla's 3rd birthday layout.  Head on over to Layout-A-Week and check it out, along with the other layouts posted there!  Hope to see you over there!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Obsessed - October 2014

1. This song.  Singing it all the time.

2. My number one...of all time...loved him since 9th grade...seen twice in concert...Sixteen Stone is still one of my favorite albums...number one of ALL TIME celebrity crush was on the Voice this month.  And I lost my flipping mind!

3. Pumpkin EVERYTHING.

4. Seriously.  This.

5. I've been doing the Scrap Stash kits for the past two months.  The concept is that you get an inspiration kit with pictures, a color scheme and even a pinterest board.  Then, you use those prompts and create your own kit with the supplies in your stash.  It's been awesome!  I'm using more of my stash than ever before.  I'm excited to really start making a dent in my stash with these kits.  If you haven't checked them out, you should, it's awesome!  They also have a Facebook page for inspiration and you can post your kits and pages there.  Check them out!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Let's Talk Books

So, I'm having a love/hate relationship with my books.  Correction, I don't hate books...ever...but I'm hating how little time I'm dedicating to reading.  I'm focusing on so many other things that when I sit down to read, usually as I climb into bed already yawning, I fall asleep so quickly that I'm really not getting much done.  I had set a goal of myself to read 8 more books by the end of this year, and that's just NOT going to happen with the way I'm going.  I really want to spend more time reading.  I really enjoy reading and it seems my scrapbooking is taking over my time and my thoughts.  Not a bad thing, but I really do want to get back into making time to read everyday.  I'm normally a pretty quick reader and it's driving me NUTS that I just can't get into it.

With that said, I'm working on finishing up a couple of series that I've enjoyed that are complete.  Right now I'm trying to finish the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris.  I'm enjoying them so my new goal is to finish those by the end of the year.  I have SO many series that I've started and want to finish (or continue if they are ongoing).  It's to a point where if my mom tried to tell me about a series I would enjoy, I crawl into the fetal position with my hands over my ears.  I don't need anymore!!!  But somehow the list continues to grow.

While I'm definitely not reading as much as I want to, I plan to make more time for it.  What have you been reading?  Pardon me if I crawl into the fetal position.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup

Hello my fellow pumpkin lovers!  I have one of my favorite fall recipes to share with you today.  I make it every year around October and so far, I've made it twice this year.  This was also my husband's request for his first home-cooked meal after coming home from training.

Pumpkin Soup

1 pkg Italian sausage (I use mild)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup chopped white button mushrooms
15oz can pure pumpkin puree
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water

Remove the sausage links from their casings and brown the sausage in a large pot, breaking it up as it browns (I use a Dutch oven and it's perfect).  Add the onion, garlic powder and Italian seasoning; sautee for a few minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Add pumpkin and broth; stir, scraping the yummy brown bits from the bottom.  Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (make sure there's still a rolling boil).

Add cream and water, season with a little salt and pepper.  I sprinkle a little fresh shredded parmesan cheese on top.  If the soup is really liquid-ey, you can add a little rue to help thicken it.

*Rue: in a small pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and add 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and stir until solid.  Add a little of the soup to the rue pan to temper it until it's creamy and add it all back to the soup.  Stir in to thicken up.

You can either blend this soup in a blender or with an immersion blender or keep it chunky.  It's great either way!  I prefer to keep it chunky.

If you try this recipe out, please leave me a comment and let me know how you like it!  Enjoy!