Friday, August 22, 2014

Project Life 2014 | January, February, & March

I'm finally sharing my Project Life pages for 2014.  I've decided to collect and work on my photos quarterly.  My first pages are of January, February, and March.

I shared my title page earlier, but I am sharing it here again because I decided to switch out a card.  The new card is the "This is a Story about Family."  Love this little card.

Each quarter begins with the months that will be documented.  I kept it simple with grey and white.  I'm using the Midnight Edition and the Just Add Color Edition.  I'm keeping it simple by using the colors black, white, grey, kraft, and yellow.  I'm also using lots of black and white photos.

I'm also loving these page protectors, they have three 3x4 cards and three 4x4 cards.  I love the look of them in the album.  I'm really trying to keep it simple and not add a lot of embellishments.  At times I  find it hard to just slip in the cards and the photos.  While I'm working on it I always feel like it needs more, but when I'm looking at it collectively, I love the simple look.  The cards are the embellishments.

I'm using a Highlights card for each quarter and just typing down highlights from this part of the year.  I'm loving the ease of documenting.  I can still add some journaling here and there, but I'm not pressuring myself to do it.

Here is an 81/2x11 page documenting some snowy days we had in February.  I embellished with some cork letters, some lovely yellow velvet ribbon, chipboard asterisks, and a wood veneer heart.

Loving these fun square pages, fun to fill and to look at filled.

This is how I will be documenting this year.  I'm opting to spend a lot less time recording and opting to have a lot less pages in my album.  I'm enjoying the freedom of this simple approach to this project.  It just took me a couple days, working a few hours each day to put this together.  A pretty perfect approach that works well right now.

You can find my other Project Life pages here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weekly Art With Kids | Pinwheels

This was such a simple activity to do with the kids.  We only made a few, they weren't that interested in making more.  Now I have a little vase of pinwheels to brighten my kitchen.  I may have to make more of these for an upcoming 2 year old's birthday.  I found the tutorial for the pinwheels here and opted not to do the glitter.

Summer Crafts 2014
Tin Can Lanterns
Kool-Aid Play Dough
Watercolor & Crayon Pond Art
Garden Tic-Tac-Toe
Mini Books
Stick Boats
Mini Art Garland

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Baby Shower


Here are photos from a recent baby shower we had for my sister in law.  She is having her second baby girl and we couldn't be more thrilled for a new little girl to be added to our family.  We kept things simple with a pink and gold color scheme.  I love planning a good party and it was lovely to work on it with my mom and sister.  

Invitations | I printed the invites on white cardstock, backed it on pink paper, added a strip of pretty pink and gold patterned paper, and I experimented and added a book page flower, that I smooshed them to fit in the envelopes.  I ended up loving the result of the smooshed flower.

Decorations | For decorations we did a few new simple banners, with gold circles, half circles and triangles. I also added a pink circle banner that I had made and saved.  We added pink paper plates, a glass jar full of gumballs, pink polk-a-dot straws, cupcake "it's a girl" inserts, and white flowers in blue mason jars.  

Refreshments | We made cucumber sandwiches, a dried cherry/almond salad, artichoke dip, crackers, melon ball skewers, cheesecake, and lemon poppyseed cupcakes.

Party Favors | Our favors were pink baskets with gold wrapped candies and fun small spiral decorated notebooks.

Games | I just printed off a couple games I found through pinterest and my mom bought a couple small gifts. The games were super fun and interactive, which I think is the best for showers.  You can find the games I used here and here. 

I love coming together to celebrate and so enjoy all the simple touches that make evenings like these so special. Such a fun evening celebrating this soon to be born little girl!  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekly Art With Kids | Colored Shaving Cream

This was a fun, tactile art activity.  We mixed and played and tried to keep the kids from tasting it.  It wasn't about creating anything to keep, it was able playing, mixing, and creating a fun, playful experience.  They moved from the kitchen counter to the bathtub and played in there for awhile.  Such a fun summer activity.  

You can find the  instructions we followed here and ordered the bathtub color tablets here.  

Working through the list of summer crafts below.  You can find the post on planning these crafts here.  .

Summer Crafts 2014
Tin Can Lanterns
Kool-Aid Play Dough
Watercolor & Crayon Pond Art
Garden Tic-Tac-Toe
Mini Books
Stick Boats
Mini Art Garland

Book Report | August

"The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think."  
--Harper Lee

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Loved it!!  The story of a girl that grew up in foster care and group homes.  So good, heartbreaking, redeeming.  I loved the mother daughter relationships throughout the novel.  It was a compelling read.

Once Blind by Kay Marshall Strom
I loved reading the story of John Newton, the man who wrote the song "Amazing Grace."  He lived a life full of sin and was heavily involved in the slave trade.  He was able to change and wrote the words to a most beloved hymn. Some parts were really hard to read.

A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh
It was such a sweet story of redemption and love.  I great summer read.

The Fourth Thousand Year by Cleon Skousen
This book gave an overview of events that took place in the bible from King Saul to right before Christ was born.  It really was a great read, full of information, and helped me to better understand the Bible.  I'm so glad to have finally gotten through this book!  It is a long one, not difficult to understand, but I wouldn't call it light reading.  I had started it in January and have finally finished it.

Delancey:  A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, and a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg
Such a fun read.  I wrote down all the restaurants in Portland and Seattle that Molly Wizenberg mentions and that we have to try!  I loved reading her honest assessment of starting a business and her husband's passion for business.  Being a small business owner's wife, I could relate to some of the things she shared.  It also made me super hungry for pizza.  Steve and I went out to Ken's Artisan Pizza here in Portland a couple weeks ago, a place I discovered from this book.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
The writing is fabulous and the story is compelling.  It was slow getting into the story, but halfway through I was hooked and so enjoyed the many lessons of friendship and kindness throughout the story.  I'm always amazed at how much an author can do with a story about animals, rabbits in this case, and how much we can relate to their struggles.  The kids listened off and on with me enjoyed it as well.  Definitely worth the read.  

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
I completely enjoyed this book.  It was a fun summer read.  Alice wakes up losing 10 years of her life, remembering her life as an almost 30 year old pregnant with her first baby and happily married.  Now she is almost 40, with three kids, and divorcing her husband.  The story made me think about life, on all different levels.  How have I changed since I was pregnant with my first baby?  Where has life taken me in how I handle and deal with the adventure of it all?  There was a bit of language, not a fan of that, but loved the story!

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
This was such a quick and fun to listen to with the kids.  It was a sweet story of siblings working together and helping others after their father's mysterious disappearance.  Loved the message, especially for my little ones.

Northhanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I hadn't heard a lot about this Jane Austen novel and had never watched the movie.  The story wasn't one of my favorites and wasn't compelling.  I really didn't get into the characters or the love story of it all.  Did anyone like this novel?  I hadn't heard good or bad about it before I read it.

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker
I'm in the middle of this one.  So many happy tears as I read about motherhood and the joy and adventure of it all.  The writing is fabulous.  My mom actually picked it up while she was visiting this month and read through it in a couple days.  She loved it!

Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Oh, the kids and I have been trying to get through this one for awhile.  It is the story of Ralph Moody, growing up with his family on a ranch in Colorado.  I'm not sure why it is taking us so long, we absolutely love the story, but we just keep setting it down for other reads.  We are almost finished with it.  Moody goes on to write other books about his life, more of adult reads I have heard. 

Find my other Book Reports here.

Also, you can find my 2014 Book List here.

Joining Modern Mrs. Darcy's Twitterature and the Simple Woman's Book Club this month.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

In My Kitchen | CSA Veggies, Roasted Beats, & Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Lots of veggies, fruits, and berries being used in our kitchen.  I have had so much fun trying to use up our CSA box of produce each week.  It keeps me experimenting and all of us eating lots of yummy, organic, local produce.  These last couple months we have prepared food for visitors, family celebrations and parties, and for fun summer treats.  I've been using the crockpot, barbecuing, and making salads for our evening meals.  Lots of chopped up veggies with meals.  My younger kids like the veggies seperated with dip versus in a salad with dressing.  We have also been having fun with homemade popsicles and will be experimenting more with these.  I'm loving our summer diet, always changing and super delicious!  I thought I would share a couple super simple summer recipes that we have been munching on lately.

Roasted Beats

Boil beats until tender.  Peal and chop into bite size chunks.  Toss with avocado oil and salt.  (Also super yummy with olive oil.)

Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1 1/2 banana
1 scoop peanut butter
1 T whipping cream
1 t vanilla

Through it in food processor and blend.  Super yummy treat!  Very rich.

I'm hoping to start working on making new meals, with a focus on crockpot and freezer meals.  I'm finding that afternoon and evenings are not a great time to be stuck in the kitchen cooking.  I'll be working on those and adding them to my 35 meal posts.