Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello Island Paradise!

Island Paradise. Doesn't that sounds nice right about now? Well, I guess the next best thing to being on an island paradise is having a scrapbook kit with that name. The August Scrapbook Circle Kit, Island Paradise, is now live on the site!

I'm loving the bright colors and the cool textures and layers that can be created with the embellishments. I think my favorite embellishment is this cork. It's a Scrapbook Circle exclusive and I'm loving using it.




Want to see more? Head on over to the Scrapbook Circle site.

Also, Scrapbook Circle is offering a FREE PAST KIT to all new subscribers. Sweet! Just add the Island Paradise Kit to the cart, then choose a favorite past kit and add it to the cart too. Use promo code "FREEKIT" at checkout and the charges for the past kit will be removed.

If you've been thinking about a new Scrapbook Circle subscription, now's the perfect time. Plus, subscriptions are only a 2 month commitment, so what do you have to loose?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day @ The Lake

I'm having so much fun going through pictures from this summer and choosing a few favorites to print and scrapbook. Last month, we got to go with some friends to Lake Havasu for a long weekend on the lake.

We had a great time spending two full days playing on the boat. My favorite is surfing. I'm definitely still learning, but having a lot of fun. I'm perfecting crashing into the water quite nicely.


All of the boat photos are always taken with my phone because I'm nervous to pull our the big camera on the boat. I had some fun playing around with the pano feature on my phone and here's a look at how it turned out. 




Layout Supplies /// Island Paradise Kit /// Bungalow Add-on /// Tiki Torch Add-on

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project Life >>> May 2014 Part Two

Hello, hello!  It's been a while since I've worked on my Project Life album and it feels good to have another spread complete. May was such a great month filled with lots of events and I'm happy to have the highlights documented here.


I bought a few of the 4 X4 grid page protectors from October Afternoon and this is the first spread where I've used one of them. I love that it can hold so many photos! I think it may be my new favorite style of pocket page.


Lacrosse Banquet /// Audrey's Birthday /// Honors Assembly /// Math Award /// Babysitting Vincent /// Family Bowling /// Feed My Starving Children Volunteering


Memorial Day /// @ the Car Wash /// Pool Building /// Wedding Cake Tasting /// @ the Lake

Still loving this Project Life process because I'm able to document so many little bits and pieces of what is going on in our family. 

Layout Supplies /// Our Adventure Kit /// Our Adventure Digi Cuts /// Away We Go Add-on

Monday, July 21, 2014

We Love Oceanside

The beach. Our family loves the beach. We wish we lived closer, but at least it's only a half day drive away. We have Wyndham timeshare points and decided it was time to used them to book a room for a few nights in Oceanside, CA.

Side note: we've had Wyndham time share points for 8 or 9 years and we love having them. We bought them on ebay for a tiny fraction of retail price. We do pay annual maintenance fees, but it is much less that the cost of the hotel would be out of pocket. Plus Wyndham rooms have a family room, kitchen and bedroom(s) which gives us room to spread out and saves us money because we make breakfast and lunch in the hotel and only go out for dinner.  Okay enough about that, just thought I'd share something that has worked well for vacations for our family. :)


We spent a weekend in Oceanside in June and loved every minute of it. We traveled with another family which worked out great because everyone was always occupied with a friend. We spent time digging and building in the sand, boogie boarding (the kids, not me because I don't like cold water!), eating fish tacos, a morning run along the beach (just me!) plus lots of relaxing. Perfect!


Now I want to start planning a return trip.

Layout supplies /// Our Adventure Kit /// Away We Go Add-on /// Happy Day Add-on

Friday, July 18, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

My Friday "What We Ate" Posts have not quite happened this summer. Partly because we've been too busy to cook many blogworthy meals and and also, I've given myself a break from a lot of cooking this summer. I'm planning to return to the weekly meal post once school starts up again next month.

But, I did make some delicious banana chocolate chip muffins this week and want to share the recipe with you. The recipe is based on a banana bread recipe from this Cook Illustrated Magazine. As you can see from the date, this issue of the magazine is from 1999. The banana bread recipe was worth saving the magazine all of these years! Yes, I could scan and save the recipe digitally, but I just like pulling the paper version down from my shelf when a banana bread craving strikes.


I didn't have the nuts or yogurt called for in the recipe and wanted to add some chocolate, so I changed up the recipe to make it fit the ingredients we already had. Plus I added brown sugar in place of some of the white sugar. The taste of brown sugar is hard to beat.


Here's a look at my recipe altered from the Cooks Illustrated version:

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugars, baking soda and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the mashed bananas, buttermilk and eggs. Then slowly mix in the melted butter and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then mix in chocolate chips.

Line muffin pans with wrappers and fill them 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 12 - 16 minutes. Remove for the oven once the muffin tops are slightly golden and an inserted tooth

This will make about 18 regular sized muffins or 48 mini muffins.

These were gone within 24 hours of baking them. Hope your family loves them as much as we do!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Fun!

Sometimes this summer I feel like a very un-fun mom. Does anyone else feel this way? There are lists of chores for the kids and lists of things I have to do each day. Between packing, shipping and ordering for Scrapbook Circle, working on the books for my husband's business, paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry and so much more, somedays I feel like I'm ignoring my kids and I went to do more with them. But looking back through the pictures from the past few weeks helped me realized that even though there has been a lot of work completed this summer, we've also had a lot of fun together.












4th of July Fun /// Free Sluprees @ 7-11 /// Bowling /// Dress Like a Cow and Get Free Food @ Chick-Fil-A /// Kristen and Doug's Wedding /// City Water Park with Cousins /// 4th of July Parade /// Wedding BBQ at our House /// Filling our Swimming Pool!!! /// Our Family at the Wedding

So far, summer has been a success. My goal is to keep the kids off of screens as much as possible and keep them moving and busy to productive and fun activities. Only two and a half weeks of summer break left until school starts. Time is going to fly by.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bridal Shower

The past month has been full of wedding planning and activities for my sister Kristen's wedding. Her engagement was only a couple of months, so we crammed a lot into the past couple of months. She and my mom definitely did most of the planning, but I helped where I could. Cake testing is a hard job. 

One of the highlights of the wedding preparations was hosting a bridal shower at my house. I kept the decor simple and enlisted help with food from my mom, my cousins, sister Michelle and Costco. Plus I tortured my kids by giving them long lists of cleaning assignments. I love hosing parties because my house is cleaned up and free from most clutter.

The Food


Fruit Salad

Sautéed Green Veggie Salad with Feta and Almonds

Costo Croissant Sandwiches

Berry Punch (Sprite, Lemonade, Crushed Raspberries and Pebble Ice

Dessert: Homemade Peanut Butter Brownies and Cupcakes



The Decor

Photos + Balloons made the decorating simple and fun. Over one of the dining tables, we hung balloons with strings and photos attached. Tip: We used double sided tape to stick the balloon to the ceiling. No helium required.


 One of the dining tables had frame pictures of the happy couple.


I had a few extra invites (I ordered these from Minted) and decided to use them as a base for a banner. The invites made perfect flags and I alternated them with some die cut hearts and then sewed everything to a teal ribbon.


The party was a success! Kristen received a lot of nice gifts and we all got to spend enjoyable time with friends and family.


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