Thursday, February 27, 2014

Project Life | Week Eight + "Everything Is Awesome" FREEBIE


I am participating in The Pocket Source's first ever Blog Hop! You should be arriving from Shaina's blog at and your next stop on the hop is the Awesome Amy over at Little Lamm & Co. Keep clicking through all the posts and tell me you aren't inspired to get those photos off your phone and in to albums!

Week Eight is done WITHIN week eight. This is some kind of record. I am trying to be good at keeping up since we will be going to Disneyland this week and I'm sure I will fall behind rather quickly with that.

This week I had the great pleasure to work with Colie Kumar's upcoming March Take Ten Monthly Kit, a monthly subscription with all kinds of scrappy goodness for just $10. There is a wait list for the March and April kits, but sign up now for future kits as cancellations will most likely happen. Meaning you may have a chance to snag this awesome kit for yourself!


This kit worked perfectly with all my photos this week. I'm surprised to see pink making such a strong presence again (like last week). It also just so happens to work beautifully with my new Project Life Strawberry Edition core kit that just arrived directly from Becky Higgins herself and her newly launched (yet unpublicized) online store. Loving this preppy looking kit and all of its fun bright colors and phrases.

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The Take Ten Monthly Kit includes 3x4 and 4x6 cards, enamel dots, sweet pink alpha stickers and a great Amy Tangerine stamp set. So much to love!

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On Sunday we went to see The Lego Movie. And dang it if that "Everything is Awesome" song hasn't been completely stuck in my head ever since. And my daughter's. And my husband's. So to commemorate this (sarcasm alert) sure-to-be greatest hit of 2014 I made a 4X6 card that coordinates beautifully with the Take Ten Monthly Kit and the Strawberry Edition core kit.  To download the file for yourself, just click the image below. It also make an AWESOME desktop picture.

Don't forget to keep clicking through the blog hop for more awesome inspiration. Amy from Little Lamm & Co is next up!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recipe: African Peanut Chicken Soup


Thought I'd try something different today and post a recipe. I used to be a chef in my former life. Cooked in restaurants for over 15 years in Seattle and Northern California. This recipe is something that I vaguely remember from my first restaurant gig nearly *gulp* 20 years ago. Make it as spicy as you like! A little chopped cilantro or parsley (if you have it) brightens it up, too. Enjoy!

African Peanut Chicken Soup
This is a riff off of a dish that was prepared at a restaurant I worked at eons ago. It is a soup/stew fairly common in West Africa and just delicious! You could add sweet potatoes if you wanted to bulk it up a bit more.
  • 1 pound chicken thighs or breast, boneless skinless, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomato, with juices
  • 1 TB turmeric
  • 1 TB cayenne (or to taste)
  • 2 TB ginger, fresh minced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 TB salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup wheat bulgur
Heat butter and oil in stockpot. Saute onion on medium-high heat until translucent. Add chicken thighs and sauté until browned on all sides (about 4 minutes). Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, bulgur and peanut butter. Whisk peanut butter until completely incorporated. Simmer for 25 minutes on medium-low heat until bulgur is cooked. Serve hot.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 21, 2014

Project Life | Week Seven

Week Seven. Wow, this is a busy layout for me. But, I had fun with it. There are so many cute patterns, embellishments and doo-dads that I wanted to use so I just went for it this week.

Obviously, you can tell that my Studio Calico "Sugar Rush" monthly Project Life kit finally showed up. It makes an appearance in the form of chipboard stickers, wood veneers and washi tape.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Project Life | Week Six

Week Six included an ear infection, a snow day and a nostalgic toy from my childhood. On to the photos.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day FREEBIE Printable

I'm a sucker for holidays. Any holiday. Especially since having my daughter. Christmas, Fourth of July, St. Patricks Day, Groundhog Day, Arbor Day... well, maybe not Arbor Day. It's such a fun excuse to get crafty and decorate the house. Valentine's Day is a particular favorite. This year is breaking my heart a little bit. We are only allowed to bring 5 Valentine's that are not addressed or in an envelope. So, we went the silly straw route. It's always nice to have a non-candy option that still actually interests the kids. 
I bought these silly straws from Amazon and went to work making a printable.  I used these cute Valentine's freebie from Me And My Big Ideas and created a bookmark-sized tag. Print, cut, hole punch, done!
And you can have them, too! I created a blank file for you to add your own kiddos name to the tag.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project Life | Week Five

A little late with Week 5, but at least it's done! I took hardly any photos during the week, most of the action happened Friday through Sunday. Ballet, Frozen Sing-Along (for those keeping track this is showing number 3 in the movie theater for us!), and Seahawks winning the Superbowl. Those are the major events of the week.


I used another QR code to embed a (long!) video of Matilda's end of semester ballet performance. I didn't even do any editing to the videos, just slapped all the clips together in iMovie and uploaded to Vimeo.
I used a lot of digital elements on photos this week for some reason. This is a little journal brush from Ali Edwards available on Designer Digitals.

I used a little iPhone screen capture of our movie ticket QR code for the Frozen Sing-Along we went to with Matilda's cousin. I think I will enjoy seeing what a movie ticket looked like for us in 2014 sometime down the road.
Also added a sequin pocket to this page. I never know what to do with all the sequins I get in some of my subscription kits. That is until I learned the trick of sewing them up into a 3X4 plastic pocket. I like the see-through element it lends to the page. I will try to add a fun patterned paper or photo to Week Six's spread to show through the sequins. A little glimpse into the future. 

So that wraps up Week Five. Onto to week six which has just come to a close.

Onto some exciting news... I have been asked to be on the Design Team for Take Ten Monthly Kits. This fun subscription is the brain-child of  Colie from the blog CardStockOption. I looking forward to getting my hands on the first kit and showing you all sneak previews both here on the blog and on Instagram  of the goodies to come.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Project Life | Blog Circle January Re-cap

PicMonkey Collage

Welcome! If you are coming from Bee Tree Studios, you are in the right place! This will be a little re-cap of my January Project Life spreads and a look into some goals for February.

Things I've learned from January:
  • I don't think I will ever go 100% digital. While I do love digital layouts, I just have way too many paper supplies that I'm loving. I will be more of a hybrid scrapper. Meaning I'll use digital elements on a physical paper layout. I could see doing a few digital layouts while I'm on vacation or out of town for a weekend as a way to document a week without schlepping all of my supplies with me.
  • I like my self-imposed due date of having the previous week completed and photographed  by Fridays to blog. It feels good to be keeping up so far (I know, I know... we aren't that far in to 2014 yet).
February Goals:
  • Use more digital elements on photos
  • Print more of my journaling instead of hand-writing everything. Perhaps this will force me to write more than a sentence or 2. I think I get too self-conscious of my handwriting.
  • Utilize more photo collages as a way to incorporate more photos in to a layout. 
Some of my favorites things from January:
The Studio Calico "Copper Mountain" kit. The colors are just gorgeous. And now that I'm "caught up" with Project Life, it is a lot of fun to use these kits on a month by month basis. 
The love affair with my photo printer continues. I know a huge part of keeping up with this project is the ability to print amazing quality photos at home.

Including ephemera into layouts like this menu from Din Tai Fung. 

I like to incorporate QR codes into Project Life. It's a fun interactive activity and is a way to add more content when I'm feeling restricted to using just the space the pages provide. I'm an over-shooter when it comes to photos. ;)

To continue on the Project Life Blog Hop, 
please continue on A Vegas Girl at Heart's to blog 
and see what she's up to this month!