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!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Layout-A-Week Page

Hey everyone!  My first layout for Layout-A-Week is up today!  Please head on over and check out how I made this page, along with the rest of the inspiring blog.  Thanks!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Story Stamps with Ali Edwards

I have a new obsession.  Well, partly new.  The first part is Ali Edwards, who I've been obsessed with for....forever.  And she has just introduced a new monthly subscription called Story Stamp.  You get one 4x6 stamp set along with a member site on her blog that includes videos from Ali, a member gallery and a message board.  I signed up and was AMAZED at the content I received.  I received the stamps and immediately wanted to get creating.  It sparked so many ideas and inspired me to start a separate album using these stamps.  I did a YouTube video explaining it, showing the stamps for the first month, and also did a real-time layout.  Check it out!


P.S. Ali commented on this video and I squealed like a little girl when I saw it....

If you're interested in checking out the Story Stamps, please visit Ali's beautiful site!  There are three subscribing options to choose from.  She has a great video showing the concept and her thoughts behind it.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Obsessed - September 2014

Back to blogging, back to what I want to blog about.  Here are a few of my favorite things this month:

1. This song...over and over

2. Binge watching this show and I'm fully committed.  And I have a really weird nerd crush going on with Dr. Spencer Reid.  Totally into him.

3. My new iPhone 6 Plus.  It's definitely big, but I'm getting used to it.
And this Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake iPhone 6 ad...

4. Loving Gwen Stephani and Pharell Williams on the Voice this season.  Is Pharell a smooth talker or what?

5. Love that I'm getting SO MUCH scrapbooking done and memories documented right now.  My inspiration is soaring and I'm taking advantage of that. And TODAY, Nicole Jones (NicoleJones911) is one person who inspired me to start making process videos and she mentioned me in her latest video and said she's enjoying mine....and I freaked out!  Totally freaked out.  And humbled.  And proud and all of the emotions were pouring out.  Thank you Nicole for your support!!!  If you haven't checked out my YouTube channel, please go see what I've been up to!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKoUqT94gRuSOOkbkl2I3_g

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Exciting Announcement!



I've been keeping a secret for a few weeks and I can finally share!  I have been invited to be on the first design team for the Layout-A-Week blog!  Jennifer was so gracious to invite me and send me a ridiculous box of goodies to work with for the next six months.  I can't WAIT to dive in!  I'm so excited to get into design team work again.  Once a month, I will be sharing a layout and video tutorial on the blog.  Head over and meet the rest of the new team and get inspired!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

See...what had happened was...

WE MOVED!  The military moved us over the summer from Tucson, AZ to Clovis, NM.  This move was a bit of a rough one because I had to move without my husband.  He is in pilot training and we decided to go ahead and move over the summer for my daughter's school year transition instead of waiting until October and moving her during her first grade year.  So that is why I have been MIA lately.  It took A LOT of prep to get ready for the movers and then physically moving and then getting settled in our new home.

That being said, we are all settled, the girls are in school and I'm back to creating and getting on a good schedule.  I have started doing YouTube process videos and I'm loving every second of it!  It's not only helping me create more, it's helping me create faster and making decisions more quickly.  When the camera's running, you think about things faster!  I'm loving it and I will definitely continue.  And I would like to get back to blogging regularly.  I will start small as I'm just getting back into the swing of things and then will hopefully start doing it more as I get a more regular schedule going.  Right now my goal is once a week, then work my way up from there.  Thanks so much for checking this out today and I hope you will go check out my YouTube channel (link below).  See you soon!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKoUqT94gRuSOOkbkl2I3_g


Saturday, February 1, 2014

What I Read in January

Instead of doing book reviews, which I had started last year, I'm going to do a monthly post on what I read that month with maybe some thoughts on the books.  Here's what I read in January:

"S" by JJ Abrams and Doug Dourst - and that's it. Literally.  The reason is that this book is very involved.  It's more than a book, it's an experience.  The premise is that it looks like an old library book and is owned by a man.  He reads through it and makes notes on his thoughts and there's a whole conspiracy behind the author and who he actually was in real life, if he even existed.  Then, a college student finds the book at the library and reads through it, writing a note to the owner that she found it.  They end up writing to each other through the book and leaving it for the other to find and respond.  You get to read their relationship as it grows.  Two stories in one.  There are really cool inserts that they leave for each other and together, they try to uncover the mystery of this mysterious author.  It was brilliant!  Definitely the coolest book I've ever read.

If you want more details on this book, click the link and there are two videos on the amazon page.  It's pretty darn cool!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Obsessed - January 2014

I'm starting a monthly "Obsessed" post series.  Each month I'll share some things I've been enjoying.  I will include all sorts of things: food, music, tv shows, movies, concepts, scrapbook supplies, blog posts...the sky's the limit!

Here is the January edition:

1. This TV show.  James Spader is magic.

2. Also been marathoning this TV show.  Timothy Olyphant = perfection!

3. This song.

4. This mini album by Wilna is so dreamy.  I wish I could make something as stunning as this.

5. Elise Blaha Cripe's Project Life title page.  WOWZA!

6. This month I took a weekend trip to Vegas with some girlfriends. We stayed at the New York New York hotel and it was AWESOME! There is an Irish pub inside the hotel where we ate lunch and the fish and chips were.....so ridiculously delicious. I'm still thinking about them.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Title Page

If you've been here before, you know that I do Project Life.  I can't even describe how much I love this project and how it has changed my idea of memory keeping.  When I started scrapbooking in 2003, I fell for it hard. The idea of playing with pretty paper and supplies and recording our family's memories was infectious for me.  It became my creative outlet and I realized I had a talent for it. For a long time, I basically focused on big events with a few little mini albums thrown in here and there.  I didn't think about our everyday memories.  When I discovered Project Life a few years ago, I was floored.  I lurked around for awhile to see other's albums and in 2012, I decided to dive in.  And I haven't looked back!  I love the idea of recording our everyday, even in a small way.  The pockets are small to help keep me from being overwhelmed, all while I'm recording things that my family would normally forget.  My husband and I love looking back through the albums and remembering the little things that we take for granted on a daily basis.  I still do 12x12 layouts of special things I want to record, but Project Life has helped to take the pressure off of doing a huge page of every single thing I want to remember.

For 2014, I'm continuing to record our everyday on a weekly basis and I will stick to mainly the Design A page protector (seen below).  I try to make each two page spread span one week.  Sometimes, we have low key weeks, and only one side is enough to record it, and that's fine with me.  It doesn't bother me when that happens.  I don't want to force anything with this project or I will stress out and it will become a chore, which I don't want.

Today, I want to share my title page for my 2014 album and some of the supplies I'm using for this year.


Supplies used here:
12x12 We R Memory Keepers album in Aqua
Becky Higgins Design A page protector
Cards are a mix from:
Studio Calico PL kits  (this link is for the current kit - mine are from past kits)
Seafoam PL core kit
"Life Documented" card was handmade by a friend
2014 card and our last name is cut from my Silhouette Cameo
Random supplies from my stash - wood veneer, enamel dots, stamps, cork arrow
Pictures printed on a Canon Selphy CP900 printer
Creative Memories corner rounder

I'm working on playing a little catch up for January right now.  My plan is to share each month here all at once.  This week I'm working on catching up on January and I will share all my weeks when they are finished.  Thanks for taking the time to take a look!

If you want more information on the Project Life system of scrapbooking, please check out Becky Higgin's site!